Tag: Christopher Goldsworthy

WDBS Q&A Christopher Goldsworthy

In our latest WDBS Q&A we spoke to our two-time Group 6B runner-up and Belgian Open Challenge Cup winner Christopher Goldsworthy to learn more about his lockdown experience and his snooker journey so far…

Hi Christopher, how have you found the past six months during these most unusual times?

I have found it a struggle, as my routine of playing snooker a few times a week was disrupted because of the whole thing. This pandemic has caused issues for a lot of people, I’m no exception. Because I like routines, this has taken a huge hit on me as everything has stopped for now and trying to adjust to unpredictability is difficult for me.

Have you been able to play snooker during this period of lockdowns and restrictions?

Yes I have. Only the past three months I have been able to pick up my cue. I was able to go to my local club of a Friday evening to practice. I also had some coaching sessions with my coach as he wanted to pick up the sessions again. So that was another avenue of practice to keep me on top of my game.

You enjoyed a memorable debut at the 2019 Southern Classic in Swindon, almost defeating our multiple champion Leroy Williams in the final. What do you remember from the weekend and what encouraged you to enter the event?

I remember Swindon being a very interesting place. On the way there, dad and I were talking about Swindon’s magic roundabout. On the table I was going into the event with an open mind to have a good time. I still remember beating Peter on the final black in the final frame to get through to the final and doing well at the start of that final.

I heard about the WDBS when it was first launched and thinking ‘oh sweet something that I could take part in’ but I found out that there was not a group for me at the time. It was when my family and I were talking about snooker at the dinner table when I decided to check up on the classification section only to find that there was a group 6B specifically for people under the ASD. We rang the organisation the next day about taking part and the next thing you know I made my debut in Swindon.

What has been your impression of the WDBS Tour and how much have you enjoyed the competition?

I’m impressed by how the WDBS is run, the open days are well set out and offer people an opportunity to play with coaches there for advice and support. I’ve got some good experience out of this and I’m very happy about that.

I’ve enjoyed the competitions, especially the Welsh Open where you can play a range of different people with disabilities and get to know them.

You played in your first non-UK event earlier this season at the Belgian Open, winning the Challenge Cup. How much did you enjoy the weekend?

It was my first time outside of UK soil, so it was a different experience for me. I had a really good time with my dad, I was apprehensive in going because I’ve never been abroad before, but I got comfortable as the tournament went on. Looking back now I did have a very good time. A picture of me and dad standing behind a banner was taken and I think that amused some people there.

You always come to your tournaments with your dad, how supportive has he been of your snooker?

My dad is my number one fan. My dad loves snooker as well and is very proud of me competing at this level. My dad also likes talking with other snooker players and their parents/cares as they share their experiences of their children with disabilities. My mum would love to come and support but she gets nervous when I’m playing.

How impressed are you by the standard of players on the WDBS circuit?

I’ve been impressed by the standards and styles of the other players. When I joined I had an open mind on how other people play with their disabilities. There are some good snooker players and I am impressed at their standards and it’s a challenge for me to try and beat them.

How does Autism affect your snooker and are there any particular challenges at events that we do not see from the outside?

With my Autism I struggle with change. For example if I am told I’m playing at a certain time and then it is changed last minute, my anxiety levels rise and I get stressed over the change. I want my mind to stay focused on the game of snooker but with my Autism the anxiety/stress levels get to me when I know it should not but it is difficult to handle at times.

How did you first become interested in snooker and what made you want to pick up a cue yourself?

When I was younger, I always had an interest in individual sports, snooker and bowling for example. With snooker I can focus on my game and myself without and distractions from others which I feel that team games can be susceptible at times with teamwork.

At the age of ten I had an interest in snooker and one of my family members friends gave me a snooker cue that was used by her husband. Near two decades on and I’m still playing snooker using the cue to this day.

What are your biggest snooker achievements so far?

I won a few competitions in a now defunct local league, at the end of their seasons they would do a team knockout. One season our team didn’t do so well but we had good momentum in the knockout to with that competition. During the last season it was running I ended up winning both the singles handicap and singles scratch competitions, I also got a trophy for highest win ratio in the league that season as well.

For WDBS I came second twice (including my debut), and won the challenge cup in Belgium, hopefully I can take that victory to win more in WDBS competitions.

How much are you looking forward to being able to get back to tournaments again when it is possible?

I cannot wait. I miss the socialisation of meeting other people at snooker, I’ve got to know a lot of people playing snooker and to have that taken away has been stressful. When we get back to the swing of things or some normality, I’ll be excited to play against my opponents once again.

What are your off-table interests and hobbies? We hear that you have a black belt at karate…

Computing has been one of my main interests, especially on the video game testing side along with coding on software.

I got my black belt a few years ago, I was doing karate for seven years and in late 2016 I got my first Dan black belt. When the class I usually go to closed down for administrative purposes I sort of retired from the practice as I was busy doing university studies at the time.

I’ve taken up archery over the last year, I usually go at least once a week during the weekends.

How would you encourage other people with disabilities to get involved with snooker?

If you want to try snooker out, the WDBS is a good place to start. They have many classifications that allow for all disabilities. Go visit on one of their open days, speak with the coaches and organisers there, try to introduce yourself to other snooker players with disabilities and have a go. Also for your carer have them speak to other carers as well. They will get a bigger picture on how the WDBS works. It’s a friendly organisation.

 

Thank you to Christopher and we look forward to seeing him and everyone else again in 2021!

Winners Crowned at Belgian Open

World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) crowned its latest champions last weekend at the Belgian Open in Bruges, Belgium.

Hosted by the Trickshot Snooker Club for the third successive year, the event welcomed its biggest ever field to date including entries from over 40 players representing six different countries.

For the first time the event ran tournaments for players from all eight main disability classification groups, including cueists with physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities, making it the most significant event staged in mainland Europe so far on the 360Fizz WDBS Tour.

Groups 1-3

England’s Tony Southern completed the successful defence of the title that he first won 12 months ago at the Trickshot following a 3-0 victory against compatriot Shahab Siddiqui in the Groups 1-3 event final.

The competition, which saw wheelchairs Groups 1-2 combined with the ambulant Group 3 classification for players with upper body disabilities for the first time, saw six entrants contest an initial round-robin phase before the knockout rounds.

Just as at last September’s UK Disability Snooker Championship it was in fact Siddiqui who in fact topped his group ahead of Southern, before the pair came through semi-finals against 2018 champion Kurt Deklerck of Belgium and Germany’s Hannes Hermsdorf – the 26-year-old having impressed on his WDBS debut this weekend with a high break of 53.

The final however was to go the way of Southern, who having taken the opening frame on the black then added the following two to seal his third-career WDBS crown.

Group 4

The biggest tournament of the weekend was to be the Group 4 competition which saw Daniel Blunn defeat Andy Johnson 3-0 to a record 11th WDBS title.

Previously a winner at the Trickshot during each of the past two seasons, Blunn was once again in imperious form in Belgium as he captured his first title of the decade without the loss of a frame from his five matches played on his way to glory in 2020.

Having come through a group including Gary Sanderson, Peter Hull and Gunter D’Hondt, the 28-year-old then saw off Church and finally Johnson – the latter in a deceptively close final – to add yet another honour to his illustrious CV.

The high break of the group was a run of 44 made during the round-robin stages.

Group 5

England’s Mickey Chambers was to maintain his 100% record on the WDBS circuit having claimed his sixth Group 5 crown with a 3-0 success against David Moore.

Like Blunn, the Preston Potter underlined his status as the leading Group 5 player on the circuit by claiming his latest title with a flawless record, winning all four group matches before seeing off Humber Classic winner Moore for a second time in the showpiece final. He also made the four highest breaks in the group, including a run of 35 during the round-robin stage.

For Moore to reach the final was nevertheless an impressive feat as he recovered from the loss of his opening two matches to progress ahead of David Langridge, Dean Simmons and Phil Woodwiss.

Group 6

There was a return to form for Peter Geronimo in the Group 6 competition for players with intellectual disabilities after the 30-year-old defeated Leroy Williams 3-2 in a closely contested final.

Both players progressed from a four-player group stage which saw Faisal Butt and Christopher Goldsworthy eliminated to set up a fifth meeting in a title decider at a WDBS event.

Having defeated Williams earlier in the day during the round-robin phase, it was Geronimo who was never headed in the final as he led 1-0 and 2-1, before Williams hit back impressively to force a deciding frame with a match high break of 39 in frame four.

Inevitably the final frame was to be decided on the colours, with Geronimo potting pink and black to triumph and claim only his second victory over Williams and his first title since his maiden win at the 2018 Humber Classic.

Group 7

Another two-time winner was to be crowned in the Group 7 tournament for players with visual disabilities after Ireland’s Dylan Rees added the Belgian Open title to his victory at the Hull Open last November with a 3-0 success against Mike Gillespie.

The pair progressed to the final following a dramatic group stage which saw a play-off required to separate the top three players including Welshman Ronnie Allen, who each had finished with an identical record.

The final however would prove to be more one-sided as Rees, who had impressed during the group stage with an impressive break of 87 – the second-highest ever to have been recorded during a WDBS match – ran out a 3-0 winner to maintain his 100% record on the circuit so far.

Group 8

A new winner was crowned in Group 8 as Belgian debutant Kristof De Bruyn defeated 10-time champion Shabir Ahmed to win the first WDBS competition for deaf players held in mainland Europe.

Paired in the same round-robin group, De Bruyn and Ahmed contested a hard-fought group match won by Ahmed to progress to the knockout rounds, where they saw off Nick Cash and Lewis Knowles respectively to set up the title decider.

It was 10-time WDBS champion Ahmed who took the opener before 44-year-old De Bruyn claimed two tight frames on the colours to take the lead, before sealing his maiden title in the fourth frame with a break of 32.

There was also a maiden win in the Challenge Cup event for Christopher Goldsworthy after the Group 6 player defeated Kal Mattu 2-0 to claim gold in the tournament for players who had not made it to the knockout rounds of the main tournaments.

The WDBS team would like to thank Olivier Vandenbohede of the Trickshot and his team for supporting the event once again and already we look forward to returning in 2021.

The final event of the 2019/20 360Fizz WDBS Tour season will be the Derby Open, to be held at the Cueball Derby from 15-17 May 2020.

 

Field Set for Parris Cues Champion of Champions 2019

There is less than one week to go until the second staging of the Parris Cues Champion of Champions by World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) and we can today confirm the 23-player field who will compete at the event this year.

As in 2018, six tournaments will be held at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester from 12-13 October, with the most successful players from the previous two years invited to compete.

Each of the tournaments will begin with a round-robin group stage, with the top two players at the end of the group to contest a title match to decide the Champion of Champions for each classification.

The players who will be competing are:

Groups 1-2

Aslam Abubaker, Shahab Siddiqui, Danny Luton

Groups 4-5

Daniel Blunn, William Thomson, Mickey Chambers, David Church

Group 6A

Faisal Butt, Mike Busst, Michael Farrell, Warren Ealy

Group 6B

Leroy Williams, Peter Geronimo, Christopher Goldsworthy*

Group 7

Gary Gallacher, Nick Neale, Ronnie Allen, Mike Gillespie

Group 8

Shabir Ahmed, Lewis Knowles, Blake Munton, Nicholas Cash

*only three players will contest Group 6B due to the non-entry of the remaining eligible players

As previously stated, this year’s event will not include tournaments for Groups 3 and 7A due to only one counting event having been played for each category following the changes to the WDBS Classification system made this year. Results from tournaments already played will however be carried forward to next year’s Champion of Champions event.

In addition to becoming champion of their respective groups, this year’s winners will each be presented with the perpetual Nick Oliver Trophy and will receive a keepsake trophy to take home and keep.

Further tournament information, including the prize money schedule and match schedule will be published in due course.