From this Saturday, Falmouth’s budding young snooker players will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.
Qualified World Snooker coach Paul Williams, along with close friend and former world number 17, Andy Hicks, is launching weekly coaching sessions for the next generation of snooker stars at Rack ‘em Up Pool and Snooker Hall on Market Street.
And Paul, who has recently returned to Falmouth after a stint working as head of the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester, says there’s no better way for yougsters to learn the game.
“I left Gloucester about six months ago, and I think I’ve come back with a lot to give,” he said.
“I want to try and get a junior club off the ground here, and get a good structure in place so that even if I move on, Andy and Bobby [Rack ‘em Up player, Bobby Southworth] can carry it on themselves. That’s the goal.”
Former world championship semi-finalist Andy Hicks - himself a World Snooker coach - will be on hand to provide youngsters with valuable insights, not only into playing techniques, but into the psychology of the game.
“I think Dennis Taylor said in his book that Andy is one of the finest players in the world at the practice table,” said Paul, “so you couldn’t really ask for anyone better to learn from.”
Snooker has suffered a dip in popularity since players like Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor became household names during the seventies, eighties and early nineties, but Paul believes the game is on the way up again.
“I think there’s still a lot of interest out there for snooker,” he said.
“I’ve travelled all over the place with Andy - we’re best of mates.
“The highlight was the Crucible, but I’ve been to China too, which was amazing. The game is massive over there, but it’s still big here with people like Judd Trump, and hopefully we can catch some of the kids early and bring them on.
“Two years ago we were just passing on tips and exercises to younger players,” he added, “but becoming a World Snooker coach has given me some extra knowledge about how to coach properly, and how to teach cue action properly, things like like that. I think it’s a good time to give something back.”
The first session takes place this Saturday, January 19, between 11am and 1pm, but may start earlier if there is enough interest.
They cost £10, and are open to all players under the age of 17.
For more information contact Rack ‘em Up on 01326 315 434