Disabled youngsters to get a break at snooker tournament in Sheffield
Disabled youngsters from across the UK will get their chance to shine at a snooker tournament in Sheffield this weekend.
The Stephen Harrison Academy in Attercliffe, run by the former professional player of the same name, is set to host a festival of snooker which will see 32 players go head-to-head on Saturday and Sunday to be crowned the overall winner.
The tournament is aimed at talented players under the age of 25 with physical and learning disabilities.
Twelve of those taking part are from Sheffield
"It’s about growing grassroots snooker by putting a big championship on for disabled people who want to play and are pretty good,” said Harrison, who was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to sport and people with disabilities after setting up an academy in memory of his late father Ray, a former world paraplegic snooker champion.
“This is our eleventh year, we always do it in Sheffield. I like the inclusivity of it. I thrive off the players’ enjoying themselves and having a day out.
"I want it to get bigger. The only way we can do that is if we can have showcase events. It makes the players feel like pro’s when they turn up in their waistcoats.”
Wisewood-based Stephen, aged 49, plans to host a national junior disability championships for under-18s at his academy in April to coincide with the World Championships at The Crucible.
Almost 100 people are expected to turn out for this weekend’s event.
“It shows there’s a need for it if there’s that much interest,” Stephen added.
"With Sheffield being the home of snooker we should be getting more out of it.”