Snooker is a great game but kids won’t cue up without support says worried Marc

Aberdeen snooker player Marc Davis.

Aberdeen snooker player Marc Davis says children are being driven away from the sport because of a lack of opportunities and support.

Davis played several events on the main snooker tour last season such as the English Open, Northern Irish Open, Indian Open and the Shoot-out.

However, he also missed out on a number of tournaments such as the China Open and Shanghai Masters because he was unable to fund travel to China and accommodation.

He believes Scotland may lose a player with the potential of Stephen Hendry (seven-time world champion) or John Higgins (four-time world champion) because there is not enough funding in place to support players with ability to reach the main tour.

He said: “How can you say to kids ‘come and play snooker and get really good, but at the end of it you’ll get nothing because the opportunities aren’t there’.

“If a kid picks up a sport and are good at it, they want to do it.

“If they are playing football they know the pathway is there, if you are good enough, to one day play for Aberdeen, or whoever.

“In snooker you say well, you practice and improve, but where is your path?

“I was speaking two weeks ago to the hottest prospect in Scottish snooker – he’s called Dylan Craig.

“He has actually stopped playing at the moment.

“He told me he got himself in so much trouble financially with trying to play snooker that he couldn’t carry on.

“And that’s Scotland’s best kid coming through – when you look at it, it’s mad.

“Sportscotland don’t support snooker at all, Scottish Snooker are trying to get them on their side but it’s never happening.

“Scottish Snooker only have very limited funds to support players unless somebody makes a donation.

“Dylan entered the World Championships last year after raising money to enter through a justgiving page.

“That was still hard to achieve the target figure – he had a lot of help from friends and family, which I have as well.”

Davis, who plans to return to Q School next May in an attempt to gain entry to main tour events for next season, revealed in other countries where snooker is popular, such as China, the government gives promising players support.

He added: “They have multiple tournaments in China over the course of the season in each region. Then they all play in grand finals and the top 10 in the ranking list the Chinese government funds them for a season. I think they get £100,000.

“Obviously they have to come over to the UK but their flights are paid for separately.

“They are sponsored by the Chinese government so they have a lot of support.

“But in Britain nowadays there is no financial help, and it’s amazing considering Stephen Hendry came from this country.

“Who’s to blame?”