This article has been published today in the Chinese media
Snooker superstars donate to Chinese welfare
By Chen Boyuan
China.org.cn, October 21, 2016
Ronnie O’Sullivan confirms his attendance in the snooker International Championship 2016 on Oct. 20, 2016 in Beijing. [Photo by Chen Boyuan / China.org.cn]
International snooker superstars, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Stephen Maguire, alongside top local players Liang Wenbo and Marco Fu, donated billiards facilities to an art school for Tibetan orphans in the suburb of Beijing on Thursday.
The donation from these elite players supports the effort to promote billiards-related social welfare in China under the plan of a newly established Billiards Fund program operated under the prestigious China Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF).
English snooker player O’Sullivan donated three million yuan (US$444,868) to the fund which is jointly initiated by China Television Sports and Entertainment Company (CTSE), which operates China Central Television’s CCTV 5 sports channel and Guoyu Media in the city of Daqing.
O’Sullivan encouraged Tibetan students to succeed in life despite their difficulties. He was later joined by Higgins, Maguire and Liang to stage exhibition matches for the students while teaching them basic snooker skills.
O’Sullivan also confirmed his participation in the upcoming snooker International Championship 2016, and took the chance to explain that his absence in the tournament last year was due to personal “fatigue issues,” adding that the China tournament was not the only one he skipped last year. He will also serve as a consultant to help with the tournament’s promotion, according to a statement.
The International Championship in China is one of the most prestigious world ranking events. It immediately became the richest snooker tournament ever staged outside the United Kingdom when it was introduced in 2012 with a top prize of 125,000 British pounds.
Judd Trump won the inaugural title in the city of Chengdu. Home favorite Ding Junhui then won it in 2013, followed by Ricky Walden in 2014. In 2015, the event moved to Daqing for the first time and was won by John Higgins.
Apart from the abovementioned players that made the charity trip, Trump, Neil Robertson, and the current world No. 1 Mark Selby, as well as over 10 Chinese players have confirmed their attendance for the tournament to be held in Daqing from Oct. 23 to 30.