New Initiative Boosts Wheelchair Snooker

Chris Lovell visits Stoke Mandeville

The WPBSA is today delighted to announce a new initiative together with WheelPower which has already seen snooker tables installed in spinal units and special schools across the country.

Based in Stoke Mandeville, the home of the Paralympic movement, WheelPower is the national charity for wheelchair sport and has been providing opportunities for people with physical impairments to participate in sport at all levels for nearly 70 years.

One of the founding sports at the Paralympic Games included as recently as 1988, snooker continues to offer significant benefits to people with disabilities and has seen new competitive events created during the past two years by the WPBSA via subsidiary body World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS).

To help encourage more wheelchair users to play snooker and to demonstrate how snooker can be a good leisure activity for patients during rehabilitation or with visiting family, working together with WheelPower and National Sports Director Chris Turner, the WPBSA has funded the installation of Little STAR snooker tables in six spinal units and seven special schools.

The project has been supported by WPBSA Coaching Consultant Chris Lovell, who has visited each site to show both WheelPower Physical Activity Advisors and teachers how to engage people in snooker.

Chris Lovell visits Stoke Mandeville

Chris Lovell said: “To visit Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement was a fascinating experience and to witness the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team in training was a sight to behold, each sportsperson striving to overcome their personal challenges through sport.

“This mirrors everything that WDBS is looking to achieve in its vision to see snooker return to the Paralympics. The partnership with WheelPower is a key aspect of this goal and will help make snooker accessible to a wider audience and support the overall growth of the sport.”

Chris Turner said: “Our new partnership with the WPBSA is fantastic and will enable more wheelchair users and people who are spinal cord injured to take part in snooker in a convenient setting which is accessible for them.

“We want to showcase the wide variety of sports that wheelchair can take part in and support them to find and take part in an activity they love.”

The WPBSA will continue to support all sites and monitor patient engagement during the next six months, with further development stories here at WPBSA.com

The next WDBS event will be the Open Disability Snooker Championship 2017, which will be staged at the Golden Cue Snooker Club, Wolverhampton from 22-24 September. The weekend will include both an open day for players with all disabilities, as well as a two-day tournament for players with physical disabilities including wheelchair users.

For more information and to enter the tournament visit WDBS.info