The WDBS was delighted to welcome residents from Leonard Cheshire Disability to the recent Open Disability Snooker Championship at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
A major charity supporting disabled people in the UK and around the world, Leonard Cheshire Disability helps provide the opportunity and support to live independently. Earlier this year, they were selected as the official charity partner for World Disability Snooker Day, which was held at the World Championship event in Sheffield.
Sue Kent, who acts as a physiotherapy assistant at Leonard Cheshire Disability was among those who made the trip to South Yorkshire earlier in the year and six months on in Gloucester, explained that the Sheffield visit had proven to be a real spark for interest in snooker among their residents:
“The trip to Sheffield was a real catalyst for snooker with our residents,” said Kent. “People think ‘oh snooker, I could do that’ and the interest has developed from there.
“We will soon have a table installed and although we are a very busy and very active home, people have kept asking us when the table is coming and are really looking forward to it. One of our residents Joe is really keen to join the club at the South West Snooker Academy and become a regular member, while 18 of the 36 residents have expressed an interest in wanting to play.”
One player who travelled to Sheffield in April was Nicholas Haworth, who also was in attendance at the South West Snooker Academy earlier this month. As well as being able to watch other players in action, he was also able to receive coaching from Mark Parsons, who is a regular player himself and one of seven WDBS players to have completed the WPBSA World Snooker Level 1 course in 2016.
“Everything has been absolutely fantastic,” said Haworth. “This has been so good for us in Gloucester and having one to one coaching as I have had was amazing. Now that we will have our own table I feel that it will really help us along.”
Kent said that for players like Haworth and others supported by Leonard Cheshire, snooker is an inclusive sport and that support has been easy to access with the support of the WDBS and WPBSA this year:
“The support received from the WDBS has been very good,” continued Kent. “It is a brilliant sport. It is all-encompassing and anyone can play snooker with the correct aids and coaching.
“Most of our residents have a physical disability and snooker is brilliant as it allows them to sit up and use their arms. Anything they see on television as well, they recognise it and that’s something that they want to be a part of.”
The next WDBS event will be the upcoming WDBS Hull Open, which will run from 11-13 November 2016 at the Tradewell Snooker Centre, Hull. For more information on how to take part, please click here.
For more information about Leonard Cheshire disability visit their website: www.leonardcheshire.org