World Disability Snooker Day Wednesday 20th April 2022

The World Snooker Championships in Sheffield is a fixture ingrained in the lives of many Yorkshire folk but it is particularly important to those living with disabilities who rely on this important accessible event.

One vital cue that the championship was well underway was World Snooker Disability Day on Wednesday 20th April 2022 which was a special day aiming to raise awareness of the opportunities for people with disabilities to pick up a cue and get involved in snooker. 

For Yorkshire sports blogger Dan Crossfield, 27, who is on the autism spectrum he “loves” snooker but has missed out on his favourite day out for the past two years during the pandemic. This loss of structure and interaction has been felt by many but it was back on Wednesday 20th April and Dan had been planning his big day out all year. 

Here in our first community report, Dan shares how it went. 

Why is the World Snooker Championship important? 

I’m Dan who is on the Autistic Spectrum and snooker has been an important part of my life since I got a half size table for Christmas when I was 11. I look forward to all tournaments but the three I tend to do matches from are the three main ones which are: The UK Championship, the Masters and the big 1 the World Snooker Championship.

The Worlds is the one I look forward to the most, but since Covid they haven’t had a World Disability Day in person as they had to do them online, but they had one in person last week and it was great fun, as I got a go on the CueZone table amongst some WDBS players as they were there to promote themselves as well.  

World Snooker Disability Day 

I was excited to be going to the World Disability Day as it’s a good day because it gets promotion of the World Disability Billiards and Snooker leagues. I also found it not too stressful either which was good and best of all, I got a go on the table but perhaps I need to judge the pace of shots as on that table you need to try not hit them too hard as they won’t go in.  

All in all it was a brilliant day out and on another note: come on The Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan you can win a 7th world title if you put your mind to it and stay focused.  

World Snooker Championship, importance to Sheffield and Yorkshire and me 

Every year from mid-April to early May, the World Snooker Championship comes to Sheffield as it has done every year since 1977 when the wife of Mike Watterson watched a theatre production at the Crucible and told him that she had found him the perfect venue for the World Snooker Championship. 

It gets the city of Sheffield buzzing for 17 days each year, in partnership with Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Theatres. 

It’s importance to Yorkshire too and if it ever moved away from the region, I don’t think it would have the same buzz as we are the spiritual home of the World Championship, and Yorkshire needs it to stay as it attracts capacity crowds each day. 

I love the World Championship as it’s the biggest event on the snooker calendar, and it also means that I can try and replicate the matches on my small snooker table at home. I also like the fact that they a World Disability Day each year too, where disabled snooker players can go into the Winter Gardens and have a go at challenges on the CueZone table. The only sad thing for me is that even though 17 days seems like a long time, they go too quick and before I know it the tournament is over for another year. 

There have been lots of winners of the event which actually started in 1927 but not at the Crucible till 1977 and there have been quite a number of different players who have won it since it went to the Crucible: 

Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O’Sullivan seven times 

Steve Davis and Ray Reardon six times 

Mark Selby, John Higgins four times,

Mark Williams, John Spencer three times,

Ken Doherty, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Peter Ebdon. John Parrott and Graeme Dott one time.

Words by Dan Crossfield for Yorkshire Post. 

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