How to Grow Ladies Snooker: By An Active Campaigner and WLBS Player
Snooker. A game of memory. A game of strategy. A fun game. Frustrating at times, but, wholly addictive!
That’s just some of the views from a hooked beginner starting her snooker journey in the ladies game Yvette Greenway, who’s been on the World Ladies Billiards and Snooker tour for one year now and is enjoying the experience.
Greenway started playing snooker in 2016, now 53, and is an active campaigner off the baize – a joint CEO of a mental health charity Silence of Suicide – but told SnookerZone that once she’s streamlined her work commitments, she will have more snooker in her life for sure.
She plays on her own table and on one near Birmingham and has coaching from Andrew Highfield, who has penned some great books on snooker routines and strategy drills.
For Greenway, the WLBS is heading in the right direction and has been campaigning quite robustly to get more women and girls into snooker.
She, however, added: “What’s really needed is sponsorship and more media coverage. We have some brilliant female players who have the ability to go far and we need to invest in and grow that talent. However, people have to work to generate an income which means less time on the snooker table. Some foreign players are very well funded, meaning they can practice consistently, attend events all around the world and not worry about overheads.
“For the women in the UK, unless they are extremely well sponsored, they rely on the goodwill of parents and other family members. It’s a real step forward to see more events overseas, for example in Australia, but that is a huge expense for most people and simply not affordable, meaning so many miss out. If more amateur snooker were televised, especially mixed gender matches, I think the public would be pleasantly surprised and quite excited by the talent and standard of match play. And, hopefully, potential sponsors might realize there is a reason for them to get involved.”
Last season, Greenway attended all of the WLBS UK events, save for the ones overseas.
She also added: “I’ve been asked to play in a local league and it would be a fabulous experience and additional practice. Once I’ve managed to streamline my work commitments, there will be more snooker in my life and certainly more matches.”
If you’re thinking of attending a WLBS event or playing in one of the now several events for women laid on by the WLBS, then you could not be in a more friendlier supportive network, says Greenway.
Even top players she said such as Maria Catalano (Ronnie O’Sullivan’s cousin) and Rebecca Kenna, who is also a coach and snooker entrepreneur in Yorkshire with her own snooker store, are always offering new players tips and advice.
Greenway added: “I was incredibly nervous this time last year approaching my first event, but the friendly faces, helpful attitude, and generous tolerance if I didn’t understand something helped me to relax. Because it’s a relatively small group of players, everyone knows each other and although each event is highly competitive, away from the baize the girls love a chat and a few laughs. What I particularly love is that although the ladies take their games seriously and want to win, they are all very generous in praising those who do well. The green-eyed monster hasn’t infiltrated ladies’ snooker, how refreshing. I chat with everyone if there’s time, but Jodie Allen, Maria Catalano and Sharon Kaur are probably the ones I spend most time with and who’ve helped me with a lot of advice and encouragement – it’s invaluable especially when you’re struggling and doubting yourself and I’m very grateful.”
Greenway is a battler on and off the tour as she fights in her role as an active campaigner.
She said; “My current briefs including fighting on behalf of women born in the 1950s who have had their state pensions deferred, women who took anticonvulsant drugs resulting in severe side effects to their children and patients damaged by the insertion of surgical mesh into their bodies. I also run a spray tanning business. When time allows, I play snooker, spend time with my family and watch my favorite football team Birmingham City.”
On who Greenway admires in the game, she said she can’t help admire Reanne Evans, Rebecca Kenna, who is so truly focused and dedicated she said.
And one person she admires on the main tour should watch out!
“Ding Junhui gets my vote every time. I’ve definitely got a ‘Ding Thing’ going on. He is elegant, super stylish and seems like a true gentleman – elegant in defeat as well as victory.”
She further exclaims: “Oh, one other small point – we’d love a lady world champion and it could be YOU.”
Yvette is right, the next World Ladies Champion could be you!
Remember, the UK Women’s Championship begins this weekend in Leeds.
Start your snooker journey on the WLBS tour by signing up! Click on the image to go to the WLBS website and find out more!