The Republic of Ireland Ladies Snooker Association have secured sponsorship valued at €3,000 towards the development of two junior players, who were selected from a field of 16 players earlier this year.

10 year old Grace Byrne from Carlow and 11 year old Roisin Beale from Kildare have been selected for this scholarship that will take in 1 year of snooker practice and free entry to the RILSA National Ranking Tour for 2017/2018 season commencing in September next.

The scholarship will include coaching on a regular basis to further develop their technique and skills.

Roisin Beale has shown great promise over the past 6 months with interest in both snooker and billiards.  Roisin having finished 36th last season on the National Rankings and is provisionally ranked 18th so far this season after her participation in a number of events and reaching the last 16 and quarter final stages of an event, is sending signals of progress and this scholarship will certainly improve her standings during the season.

Grace Byrne took the RILSA U/12 Title earlier in the year and was the first girl to win the U/13 stars since it’s inception back in 1981. Grace finished in the top 16 last season at 12th and is currently 5th on the provisional rankings this season.  Grace has shown great interest and along with Roisin both these young girls are one’s to watch out for in the future.

It’s very important that girls are given the opportunity to excel in their chosen sport along with encouragement for girls to continue to play sports for as long as the wish.  A lot of girls drop out of sport once they move into secondary school and we at RILSA are determined that when we see potential that we help, support and develop it in a positive way.

This 1 year scholarship is just what these young girls need.  Their parents will play an important roll as they progress and develop into mature players.  Organisations sometimes forget how important parents and mentors are, in the development of their children in sport.  Transport, money and time is all down to these people and we at RILSA recognises this and we are very grateful to their support and encouragement.  Not forgetting also the principal’s and teachers of their schools who are so supportive, we thank you too for all the support.

A huge thanks to Paul & Bernie of Sharkx for the practice time and to RILSA for the facilities at their Academy at Sharkx along with entry free events.  Coaching will be provided free by World snooker coach, Dan Carroll