Every Snooker Player Dreams of a “TV Big Break” Moment, Here Was Hers…

Katie Henrick with her Snooker Farm award from Del Hill…Photo screenshot from the Snooker Farm website…

There are times in snooker when you have to do something daft to help promote the game.

For female snooker coach Katie Henrick, her 15 minutes of fame and “daft”moment came years ago when she had a brief appearance on children’s TV – or her hand did! For snooker players, it’s the bridge hand that does ALL the talking…

But first, before SnookerZone spills the beans on that, here’s how Henrick, now 38, and coaching in London at the Royal Automobile Club and Chelsea Arts Club, teaching its female members, got into the game she got hooked on when young.

She told SnookerZone: “I got into snooker mainly through encouragement from a close family member called jack (My honourary dad I call him!) We all took a family holiday up to Blackpool where we stayed in the Pontins holiday camp and that’s where I played my first game of snooker! The attendant in there said he didn’t see many women playing and that I should keep up with it when I got home.  So when we got home jack joined me at a local club and got me a lesson from the local professional. I entered the club’s ladies competition and I won it – I got £50, a trophy, and got to play Welshman Doug Mountjoy in a frame exhibition match! So after that, I was hooked! “

Henrick, who has played on the women’s tour, and was as high as fourth, said she is passionate about getting as many ladies into play the great game as possible, and started coaching 15 years ago when she started her job at the RAC. Henrick is no slouch when it comes to breaks. She’s had her highest break of 107 in competitive play but says her breaks are much higher in practice.

Coaching Training on the Farm

She was a graduate of Del Hill’s Snooker Farm training facility in a “secret” location near Boston, Lincolnshire, which has graduated a mixture of pure snooker fans and top players, including former 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott among them.

She added: “I really enjoyed my time at the Snooker Farm and listening to Del Hill’s advice and coaching techniques.  It was the first real coaching course I did so It was nice to hear all the basics again and to know I was on the right lines when teaching! Especially when coming down onto the line if the shot!”

Henrick hopes that the ladies game can hit the heights of TV like netball or women’s football. With the backing of the WPBSA and World Snooker and more exposure, she hopes more women will know they can play the game and get good at it.

Now, onto her 15 minutes of fame moment! She explains:

“The funniest thing I’ve done in snooker (and something that most people don’t know) is that I was Holly Willoughby’s stunt double playing a trick shot back when she was involved in children’s TV.  If I remember I had to wear a French maid’s outfit (ha ha) and I came into play the shot and all you could see was the back of me and my hand playing the shot!  The trick shot was a success!”

The trickshot! I can’t forget it lol – it was the one where you hit the ball out of someone’s mouth – in this case, it was a puppet! Do you know the one? Someone lays on the table and you hit white off table and onto there mouth where they are holding between their teeth and a ball sits on there and you pot the ball in the far corner!!”

Thanks to Katie Henrick for taking the time out to talk to SnookerZone and help promote the ladies game!

Are you a female or male coach and would like to be featured on the Coaching Zone interview pages? If so, email info@snookerzone.co.uk and let us know all about you!

Talking of Big Breaks, re-live the memory of the first ever episode aired in 1991, below…

Learn some trick shots yourself from the master John Virgo, here…