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Six-time snooker world championship winner Steve Davis was right on cue last week as he helped students from Sheffield’s Park Academy launch the ‘Functional Snooker’ programme for 2015.

The initiative, managed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) as part of its worldwide grass roots development programme, uses the game to help promote student learning - and has been recognised by OFSTED as good practice in teaching maths through sport.

‘Cue Zone Into Schools’ had its initial launch at the academy in April 2013, with the objective of developing the game within schools using a concept known as Functional Snooker.

And last week Davis and the WPBSA’s Chris Lovell returned to the Academy to once again promote the scheme.

Lovell explained: “The basic concept of Functional Snooker is to remove traditional scoring, replacing it with numbered balls which retain their values, whilst others have symbols to indicate whether to multiply, subtract or use addition to calculate the value of the shot.”

There are already 16 local schools taking part in the initiative, with the WPBSA supporting the provision of 32 World Snooker Coaching Scholarships which will enable teaching staff in each school to train and become snooker coaches.

Student scholarships are also available with full support on establishing ‘Cue Zones’ in each school, as well as an invitation to take part in Functional Snooker sessions at the 2015 World Snooker Championships.

As part of the scheme, and supported by the Paul Hunter Foundation, Sheffield Park Academy also received a full size snooker table and training for its staff, enabling them to provide coaching to the students via the academy’s BTEC sports provision.

Sheffield Park Academy headteacher Craig Dillon said: “This is an excellent way of bringing the subject of maths to life for our students so we’re very happy to once again support this exciting venture.”