Exhibition match to say thanks for the donation to grass-roots snooker

A YOUNG professional and three of the south’s top teenage amateurs will be displaying their snooker skills at a Bournemouth social club in August.

The awesome foursome will play exhibition matches to say a massive ‘thank you’ for a generous donation to the grass-roots game.

The Bournemouth and District Constitutional Club (BDCC) has handed over a whopping £1,000 to Cuestars, a snooker organisation headed by John Hunter that runs tournaments for all ages and abilities across central southern England and provides coaching for junior players.

Headlining the afternoon snookerfest will be world number 116 Jamie Wilson, who has just completed his first season as a professional. The 17-year-old from Havant has been playing in Cuestars events since the age of six.

Wilson will be joined by three England junior internationals: 19-year-old Bradley Cowdroy, Bournemouth’s top junior and the reigning Dorset county champion, 19 year-old Connor Benzey, from Eastleigh, who won the 2019 European Under-17 Snooker Open in Malta, and 15-year-old Oliver Sykes, from Chandler’s Ford, who has already made a 139 break.

Exhibition organiser and club member Herman Desmier, 72, (“I’m one of the youngest members!”) explained why the BDCC “old guys” are so keen to help the region’s juniors.

“We have members who are aged 90-plus and still enjoying playing snooker,” he said.

“Without the money many of these young stars may never be able to develop their potential,”

“They don’t have sponsors waiting to make money off them.

“Cuestars are their mentors – purely for the love of the game. We are so impressed by what John, Tim Dunkley and Cuestars are contributing to the game we love that we want to help.”

“Both John and Tim are fully qualified WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker) coaches so the young players are in good hands.”

Cuestars director Hunter said: “It gives our best juniors the chance to play in front of an audience and will boost the fund that will benefit our grassroots snooker effort.

“But we couldn’t do what we do without the support of parents, coaches, club owners and, of course, the players.”

The exhibition takes place at the club on Richmond Hill on Friday, August 6. It’s a private members’ snooker club which has been in Bournemouth since 1897. To learn more about the club, visit www.constitutionalclub.co.uk.

To find out more about the great work that Cuestars does, visit www.cuestars.co.uk