Snooker on the rise again in Canada
- 2011 host of IBSF World Championships
- New Snooker Academy Opens
- Snooker coaching program developed
Patrick Guigui remembers the snooker boom of the 1980’s in Canada. Snooker clubs everywhere, a waiting list to get a table to play on, tournaments every weekend full of players and spectators.
In 1989, Patrick went to live America where people did not even know the meaning of the word “snooker” and finding a table was nearly impossible . “It was a little frustrating at first, but you eventually forget and move on to other things”.
15 years later, in 2004, Patrick returned to Canada to live and was shocked by how things had drastically changed. More than half of the snooker clubs were closed, and the ones that were open were a lot quieter than he remembered. When he inquired about what had happened, the most common answers he heard were “the internet took over”, “people are playing poker now” and “everyone is playing 8 ball or 9 ball on the smaller tables”.
“I remember thinking to myself, what are these people talking about? How can anyone abandon such a beautiful game?”
Well rather than simply accept this as a reality, he then went on to do some research and talk to people involved in the game. He soon realized that Canadians did not abandon the game. In fact, they loved it and craved it, and its history has proven that.
In a country where ice hockey is a way of life, you can still see how snooker has its place here. Former professionals from Canada still play the game on a regular basis, including Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens, Alain Robidoux, and several others. Another interesting fact is that the list of Canadians who have accomplished a perfect game of 147 points is very long indeed .
Recently, Canada has witnessed an increase in the interest of snooker and it seems like it is getting more and more popular again. Former World Champion Ken Doherty visited Montreal last summer and absolutely loved it.
A new snooker academy has recently opened up and is looking to teach the younger generation new snooker skills. Canada will also be hosting the IBSF Under 21 World Championships this summer, which should prove to be a popular destination for players from around the globe. There are also plans in the making for a referee certification program and another one for coaching.
Finally, Canada plans on hosting several amateur tournaments in the near future where the prize money will be between $25 000 – $50 000 and will be open to all players that are not currently on the pro tour.
Who knows, maybe there will be a waiting list to get on a snooker table again soon?