It is around this time of year that towns and cities across the country see an influx of university students returning to their studies or starting their journeys in academia.
Universities are very often hot-beds of snooker activity and an excellent opportunity for snooker clubs to engage with the nearby student population. In fact, many student snooker clubs base their regular activities at their local snooker club.
The talent in university snooker is also apparent, with students Dan Womersley, Dan Devlin, and Nikolas Charalambous all competing in this year’s Q School.
We caught up with Max Burt, President of the Warwick University Snooker & Billiards Club (WUSBC), to find out about their playing programme for the year ahead…
Warwick students enjoy a combination of trips to Bar 8 in nearby Rugby, the Leamington snooker league and the use of snooker tables within their students’ union, to offer a fantastic range of social and competitive snooker for 120 members – the club’s highest membership in recent years.
WUSBC starts the academic year with several events to involve freshers, post-graduate and international students, including an information stall at the ‘Welcome to Warwick’ week and taster sessions to showcase the sport. A variety of club socials take place so that everybody can meet and take part in various fun forms of snooker.
The first major tournament of the year, the Sheffield Star Cup, is run by the University of Sheffield and held at the Star Snooker Academy, taking place in November. During last year’s inaugural tournament Warwick’s 1st team reached the final, only edged out by home favourites Sheffield University.
Talking about the club’s involvement in the local area, Burt said: “We participate in the Leamington league, with both a snooker and a billiards team. Club Captain Samuel Matto-Willey made it to last season’s league individual final – the first Warwick University player to do so.
“Every year we run the Midlands tournament, held in Bar 8 in Rugby. This year we had 16 teams enter, ranging from Leeds to Exeter. Warwick 1sts and 2nds both lost their respective semi-finals on final frame deciders, which was a pretty tough result to take. This tournament has always been praised by other universities for its excellent and organised running.”
Each year the club takes a snooker trip to the Champion of Champions event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Last time out the students were lucky enough to watch John Higgins vs Judd Trump – Higgins winning with a fantastic 143 break.
The club also welcomes back its graduates, hosting an annual tournament at Riley’s Snooker Club in Coventry between current students and alumni.
The academic year ends with the BUCS Snooker Championships at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. This is the flagship tournament for university snooker teams across the UK. Warwick continues to be among the leading ranked universities in this competition.
Watch on YouTube to learn more about the club’s performance at the Varsity match between Warwick and Coventry Universities earlier this year and get a feel for the club and its snooker room.
If your snooker club would like to find out more about how to make links with university snooker societies please contact us for more information and support.