Tag: Chris Hornby

Landmark Open Day Held in China

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) staged an Open Day at the WPBSA-CBSA World Snooker Academy in Beijing on Tuesday.

The event was attended by Nigel Mawer QPM, Chairman of the WDBS, Chris Hornby, Sports Development Manger of the WPBSA, as well as professional snooker coaches, disabled snooker fans and players.

The event was hosted by the China Administration of Sport for Persons with Disabilities (CASPD) and the WDBS. It was jointly organised by Beijing Disabled Persons’ Federation, WPBSA and CBSA, and supported by Beijing Rigour Culture & Media as well as the CBSA World Snooker Academy.

This is one of the rehabilitation fitness demonstration events organised by CASPD during the eighth Disability Fitness Week.

Officials from WDBS visited CASPD in Beijing in June to discuss potential cooperation projects, including this open day during CASPD disability week. This was supported by CBSA, who provided coaches for the day, and by Rigour Media who have allowed WDBS and CASPD to use their excellent facility in Beijing.

The theme of the day was to encourage disabled people, who may have never played the sport of snooker, to give it a try. More than 40 deaf and disabled people learned to play snooker through fun activities and exercises arranged by CBSA coaches.

One of the disabled fans said: “This is the first time I have participated in this kind of event and the experience was excellent. The environment is very good. Through the guidance of the coach, I have a deeper understanding of snooker. I hope there will be more events like this which allow more people to enjoy the unique fun of snooker.”

WDBS will work closely with CASPD and CBSA to look at longer term projects, potentially installing snooker tables at CASPD’s headquarters in the National Paralympic Training Centre in Beijing before branching replica projects out into other regions in China. It is hoped that this will generate enough competition to create National Championships for people with disabilities, who can then compete against other countries internationally. Rigour’s ball-tracking technology could even allow for long-distance competitions between British and Chinese disabled players.

WDBS has long term Paralympic ambitions and hopes to create opportunities for disabled people in China.

Media coverage

Major media outlets in Beijing gave the event significant coverage.

Disability Snooker Welcomed in China

Officials from World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) recently visited the China Administration of Sports for Persons with Disabilities (CASPD) to explore future partnership opportunities.

Nigel Mawer QPM, chairman of WDBS and WPBSA Sport Development Manager Chris Hornby met with Mr Wu Secretary of the Party Committee for CASPD and his team at the Chinese Paralympic Training Facility in Beijing. During fruitful discussions the parties discussed the significant growth of WDBS since its formation less than three years ago and how both WDBS and the CASPD can work together in the future to develop disability snooker in China.

Established in August 2003 as a non-profit organisation, the CASPD is responsible for the organisation of national level sport activities for people with disabilities including the following:

  1. Preparing the National Paralympic Team for competition
  2. To move disabled people into the community
  3. Classification of athletes for Paralympics Games
  4. Educating athletes through links with Beijing University
  5. Maintaining and managing significant facility
  6. Preparations for 2022 Winter Olympic Games/Paralympic Games
  7. Staging international disabled sport events

It was provisionally agreed that both parties are to work together with support from the China Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) to stage an open day at the Rigour Academy in Beijing for people with disabilities to try snooker and receive coaching from CBSA and WPBSA accredited coaches. This is to take place during ‘Disability Week’ on the 7th August 2018 and will be the first project of its kind in the region.

WDBS and CASPD will also continue work together on longer-term initiatives to include the installation of both full-size and ‘Little Star’ snooker tables at the Beijing facility to create opportunities for people with disabilities to play snooker. This project aims to engage both those playing for recreational and rehabilitation purposes, as well as creating a pathway for elite talent to progress to competition play.

Rigour technology

During their recent time in China both Nigel Mawer QPM and Chris Hornby also visited the Rigour Snooker Academy in Beijing to discuss whether Rigour’s industry-leading technology could be used to assist the global development of snooker for people with disabilities.

Positive discussions and technology demonstrations took place and both WDBS and Rigour Tech will continue their cooperation over the coming months.

David Baker playing snooker

Record Entries for Welsh Open

The inaugural World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) Welsh Open has seen entries from a record 40 players, more than a week prior to the original entry deadline.

Since its inaugural event staged back in November 2015, the WDBS has seen consistent growth in player numbers at tournaments staged for people with a wide-range of different disabilities over the previous 18 months.

For the first time, the upcoming Welsh Open, to be staged in Cwmbran at Redz Snooker Club from 30 June – 2 July 2017, will be open to players of all eight WDBS disability classification groups. With matches to be played using the Six Red format, the tournament will see players with physical, learning and sensory disabilities compete against each other across an initial round robin phase, with the top two from each group progressing to the knockout rounds.

Photo of Phillip Murphy playing snooker

Players not qualifying for the last 16 will be able to play in a mixed classification doubles tournament during the final day of the event in what will be another new WDBS initiative trialled over the weekend.

Once again, the event will be supported by St Helens based company J&S Trading, which specialises in recycling mobile phone parts and accessories. Through WPBSA World Snooker coach Simon Berrisford, the company has become a regular sponsor of WDBS events since the Manchester Classic in March.

WPBSA Sport Development Manager Chris Hornby said: “It is fantastic to see numbers growing as we put on more events.

“This will be a great learning experience for us to run our first event with completely mixed classification groups and we hope this can be become a regular fixture in the calendar. Hopefully it will be a real opportunity for players from all the groups to socialise and have fun, whilst there will also be a competitive edge.

“It is exciting to see the WDBS stage its first event outside of England and we hope that this is the first of many countries to be added to the WDBS calendar.”

All players, including those who have not entered the tournament are also encouraged to attend the Friday Open Day at the event, at which practice and coaching opportunities will be available.