The Stars Academy Ireland Scholarship players were given a master class in Joey’s Snooker Club Dublin by Fergal O’Brien recently. The players representing clubs, schools across Ireland were delighted to be involved and learned a lot from the fantastic display from Fergal.
Fergal who first started out his career with the Stars of the Future back in the 1980’s was very impressed with the progress and promotions through our school & college initiative. The fact that this organisation has brought grass root snooker back to fruition and with over 30,000 children been introduced to the sport in the past 5 years is just amazing.
Fergus O’Brien, Fergals dad and his business Brenfer Jewellers in Capel Street Dublin sponsored the Stars Academy for over 22 years which was very much appreciated. Most of the top players now on the RIBSA rankings started their careers out with the Stars of the Future for which we are very proud of their success and that we had a small part in helping them develop their skills and encouraged them to improve.
Stars Academy Ireland is the main feeder organisation for young players who transgress to RIBSA, we can account for over 80% of those now on the circuit.
The Stars Academy Scholarship is a new concept introduced some 3 years ago to help encourage more young lads and girls to come out and play competitively at the various age groups and we have found that over the past few years, the numbers taking up snooker has increased greatly. With our involvement in all these schools and colleges along with our member clubs, we intend to bring the sport to many thousands in the years ahead.
We are working very hard at the real grass root level here in Ireland and we can safely say that between 200,000 and 300,000 young people play snooker each year and its so important to keep focused in this area as future World Champions are out there to be found and helped along in their careers.
Fergal is very much in support of our efforts and he will be back again to give advice and coaching to our young players in Stars Academy Ireland.
Thanks to Fergal for all his help and support, thanks also to Martin and Tony from Dublin City Council for all their support. Thanks to Derek Fagan and staff of Joey’s for providing excellent facilities for this event.