This week the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) is helping celebrate the first anniversary of the Reach campaign, run by sports coach UK.
Reach, is a national campaign which aims to inspire more women to get involved with coaching and to help ensure that once involved, they are fully supported and motivated to keep coaching into the long-term. Over 130 different organisations, including the WPBSA have since signed up to show their support for Reach and help promote their shared objectives.
Through its own coaching programme, which has seen courses held for both billiards and snooker in September 2016, the WPBSA remains committed to ensuring that there are no barriers to women who want to participate in cue sports, both in respect of playing and coaching opportunities.
The celebrations also coincide with Women’s Sport Week 2016, a campaign aimed at raising awareness and increasing the profile of women’s sport across the UK.
Among those who was taking part in the first ever World Billiards coaching course in September 2016 was Katie Martyn (née Katie Henrick), who back in 2007 finished as runner-up to eleven-time champion Reanne Evans at the WLBS World Ladies Championship.
“I first started playing snooker when I was 14-years-old,” said Martyn, “I had tried pool before that as I used to go to my local social club where my mum worked and a family friend taught me how to play.
“I then wanted to try the bigger table and had the chance on a family holiday staying at Pontins in Blackpool. Shortly afterwards, I joined a club locally and started playing after school. I then won a local ladies competition and got the bug to want to play more, so I joined the ladies circuit and played in competitions around the country. I loved the high of doing well and being involved in something different. I enjoyed the travelling and seeing new places!”
In 2003 however, Martyn was offered the opportunity to get involved with coaching, as she was offered to chance to work as a full-time professional coach at the Royal Automobile Club in London, where she remains to this day.
“The main part of the job was to coach the members of the club and teach them the key skills to play snooker,” added Martyn. “So I took steps to qualify as a coach, firstly with Del Hill and then through the WPBSA World Snooker coaching programme.
“It’s great to teach people and to try and get more people playing the game, especially as it shows that woman can and do play the game. I love people’s reaction when they understand and improve their game!”
Now successfully qualified to coach both snooker and billiards, Martyn hopes to remain coaching for a long-time and is joined by several other women coaches who have completed WPBSA courses in recent years.
To learn more about how you can get involved and join Katie as one of our WPBSA World Snooker coaches, visit wpbsa.com/coaching
You can also learn more about the Reach campaign at their website.