We are today excited to confirm new developments for coaching at World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) events, with WPBSA World Snooker coach Steve Rutter to lead coaching at the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone from the upcoming Hull Open.
WDBS was created with the goal of providing more opportunities for people with disabilities to play snooker competitively, however equally as important as tournament play is the inclusion of people with disabilities in what we firmly believe is a sport for all. This has been encouraged by regular open days at the start of each of our events at which people with disabilities can try snooker, whether they are experienced players or are picking up a cue for the first time, with accredited WPBSA World Snooker coaches on hand to provide guidance and advice free of charge.
As part of our ongoing development we have now identified a need to provide greater structure at these open days and increased opportunity for people to participate in group sessions. To help us to provide this service we are pleased to be working with experienced snooker coach Steve Rutter, who has a background in education and working with people with learning disabilities. Steve has been in regular attendance at WDBS events during the past 18 months, both mentoring the individual players including Blake Munton and Josh Morrison and also supporting our wider coaching activities.
“I feel honoured and privileged to be asked to be lead coach at WDBS events,” said Rutter. “It means a lot to me on a personal level to be entrusted with this role and I am excited by the plans that we have to take the Go Green Energy Coaching Zone to the next level.”
“It has been great to be a part of WDBS coaching days recently and they have been a real eye-opener for me. I already knew that there was a need for coaching at disability events but I didn’t know the range of abilities within disability snooker. I’ve been really impressed by the actual ability of some of the players and what they have to overcome just to be able to play.
“I have taken a lot from it personally, with respect to how I approach the game when coaching people with disabilities. I enjoy coaching Blake who has come on leaps and bounds in recent months and I have seen the progression of a lot of players over the year I’ve been involved.”
Since the start of the 2018/19 season our Coaching Zone has been sponsored by Go Green Energy, the Tamworth-based independent renewal able energy company for whom our most-decorated player Daniel Blunn works for full-time when he is not on the baize. Rutter was part of the coaching team at the recent Open Disability Snooker Championship in Northampton at which new group sessions were introduced for the first time, something that the team plans to build upon further at future events.
“The goal in Northampton was to be more structured,” explains Rutter. “For the people who were just coming for the Friday to try the sport and see what was going on, the difference was that the day was not ad hoc. We had a team of coaches there and they were allocated tables and specific coaching sessions for which people coming for the first time could book sessions.
“For example I ran a table for demonstration and discussion, including a 20 minute session on the subject of stun, top and screw shots. We had discussions around the issues that each player with specific disabilities have with a stun shot, e.g with some disabilities such as cerebral palsy it is about their balance, while people in wheelchairs have a longer cue extension from bridge to ball so I had to think on my feet to come up with solutions.
“Looking forward to our next event the Hull Open I have already worked on a guided timetable of events which will be set out on a board and people can put their names down for particular sessions. We plan to have at least three tables, for demonstration and discussion, one-to-one sessions and traditional Cue Zone style activities, but will also remain flexible to accommodate people’s needs on the day. I am really looking forward to it!”
The Go Green Energy Coaching Zone will return as part of the Hull Open, to be held at the Tradewell Snooker Club on Friday 16th November from 10:00am, with Steve and his team of expert coaches on hand to welcome both new and returning faces on the day.
Learn more about the Hull Open here.