£500 up for grabs on Championship Tour

CUESTARS launches its blue-riband competition on Sunday at the end of a week that sees three of its former Bronze Tour juniors competing in the English Open.

The rankings winner of the seven-leg Championship Tour will pocket a £500 bonus. The first leg is at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club

Entry is £20 but players must be Cuestars members. The format is a best-of-five knockout with a best-of-three Plate for those losing their first match. Prize money is paid out on the day.

Jamie Wilson, Oliver Sykes and Mark Lloyd all began their Cuestars journey before the age of ten. Jamie is now a professional. Oliver and Mark have received wildcards for the BetVictor English Open at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. Last season, Mark won the national EPSB Premier Development Tour and Oliver reached the finals of both the English Under-16 and Under-18 Championships.

Oliver faces Allan Taylor on Monday afternoon. Mark takes on Paul Deaville on Monday evening. And Jamie plays the winner of Mark Selby and Sanderson Lam.

These three – and many others – have blazed a trail that could be followed by any player on the current Under-21 Bronze Tour, which is the first stage of the Cuestars competition structure. Progression from there is through the Silver and Gold Tours. The Championship Tour is open to all ages. Alongside this, Cuestars also runs a Seniors Tour for over-40s and a midweek Masters Tour for over-55s.

The prize money on offer for these events helps Cuestars players with the high costs involved with being an amateur snooker player. Entry fees, travelling and hotel bills soon add up when players compete nationally or internationally.

And this prize money is boosted by the generosity of a whole raft of individuals, firms and clubs who fork out £100 to sponsor individual events. To sponsor an event, contact John Hunter at [email protected]

But Cuestars is not just about tournaments. It also has a well-developed practice structure. For just £5 a year, players can join the Cuestars Academy and receive access to the highly popular Bronze, Silver, Gold and Professional levels of which there are now 28 in total, each comprising five practice routines. In addition, there is access to many other practice challenges and quizzes.

As well as Chandlers Ford SC, the Championship Tour visits Fareham SC, Top Spot SC in Havant, Waterlooville Sports Bar, The Crucible in Newbury, Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon and Greenbaize SC in Bournemouth.

The first leg is sponsored by David Stewart to raise awareness of Sightsavers (www.sightsavers.org), a charity that works to eliminate avoidable blindness and promote the rights of people with disabilities.

Oliver Sykes picture by Andy Chubb