One event that will go ahead, although in a different form is the “Disability Snooker Day” (source WST)
A cornerstone of WDBS activity in Sheffield during the professional World Snooker Championship in recent years, the day will be held online in 2020 following the postponement of this year’s tournament due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Aimed at raising awareness of disability snooker and encouraging people with disabilities to pick up a cue and get involved, the day will see activity throughout the day on the WDBS website and social media platforms.
As always, the event is jointly organised by World Snooker Tour and WDBS, an organising body of the 360Fizz WDBS Tour which comprises disability snooker events staged across the UK and mainland Europe since. The long-term goal for WDBS is to see snooker return to the Paralympics, at which snooker was one of its founding sports and was held most recently in 1988.
Set to celebrate its fifth anniversary this summer WDBS will look back at a number of key landmarks so far including coverage from previous Disability Snooker Days and the best footage from key tournaments.
This will include a full re-run of last year’s inaugural Disability Tour Championship held at the Crucible Theatre which saw four players showcase disability snooker at the home of the sport.
The day will also several exciting announcements made including the announcement of this year’s winner of the WDBS Vic Hartley Player of the Season Award for 2019/20, succeeding previous recipient Daniel Lee.
WDBS is encouraging everyone who supports disability snooker to get involved on the day using social media.
Whether you are a player, official, coach or a fan of the sport, post your memories and what snooker means to you as a person with a disability, or your favourite WDBS memory.
Use the official hashtags #DisabilitySnooker and #Cue4All and help to spread the word!
Disability Snooker Day 2020 takes place on 22 April 2020 via WDBS social media platforms.
If you haven’t seen last years Disability Tour Championship, I can only urge you to watch the re-run. Those guys and gals are extraordinary and they show us that (almost) nothing is impossible if you have the will, and the passion for it.
Also, it’s only fitting that Vic Hartley’s love and dedication to the sport is honoured and remembered through the Vic Hartley award.
Vic was a warm and caring person, a great referee and teacher. He was loved and respected by everyone who knew him.
Remembering Vic Hartley
The inaugural winner of the prestigious Vic Hartley WDBS Player of the Season Award will be announced during Wednesday’s World Snooker Disability Day in Sheffield; an honour named in tribute to our friend and colleague who sadly passed away last month.
Vic was born on the 25th July 1931 in Shepherd’s Bush, London. He began work for a local coach company, first as a mechanic, then a driver, before commencing national service where he was based in Egypt. He discovered a passion for this way of life and later joined the Territorial Army, Royal Electrical Mechanical and Engineers Regiment. Afterwards he had a spell at the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham.
Loving husband to Beryl for nearly 50 years before she passed away in early 2010, the happy couple were proud of their two children, Dawn and Ann, and their three grandchildren Karl, Dean and Chloe. After feeling unwell on Thursday 28th March, Vic was taken to hospital where he passed away in the arms of his girls.
Enthusiastic about several different sports, Vic’s biggest affection was towards snooker – a pursuit that would involve him in various roles over many years.
Originally signing up for his local team, he was drawn towards the administration and running of the local league. He enjoyed crucial roles such as Treasurer and Results Secretary, and only up until last year he still had ongoing input.
His love for the sport also led him into refereeing. Vic qualified and later achieved Class 1 status – he would go on to have a long and distinguished career in officiating that would see him travel up and down the country and beyond. Away from his own baize duties he was eager to support upcoming referees too, using his years of knowledge and wisdom to tutor and mentor.
Vic represented the English Association of Snooker and Billiards impeccably, regardless of whether he was refereeing at local and national events, or further afield during major European and international competitions. One of his proudest highlights was in 2002 when he refereed at the Crucible Theatre during the World Ladies Snooker Championship.
Having gained experience refereeing disabled and wheelchair players at Stoke Mandeville earlier on in his career, Vic was very keen to be a part of, and promote, World Disability Billiards and Snooker which was established in 2015, officiating in the opening event at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
Since then the WDBS circuit has grown in strength, and a constant within that uprising success was Vic’s participation at several tournaments; even after a spell of ill-health left him sidelined for a short period, he returned to action in 2018. Only in March – a few days before his passing – Vic was at Jesters Snooker Hall in Swindon to greet players, guardians and staff during this year’s Southern Classic. He was with snooker right up until the end.
His fondness of WDBS was apparent and donations from his recent funeral were gratefully received by the organisation.
Vic was respected by all his peers and away from the table his energy and effervescent nature left us in high spirits. Whilst he leaves a hole within the sport, he will always be remembered by the snooker community.
In honour of his time, effort and commitment, his legacy will also live on through the new Vic Hartley WDBS Player of the Year Award that will be presented annually after each season. As well as the distinction of this title, the winning player will also receive a luxurious bespoke cue case designed and hand crafted by Rob Reed from RR Cue Cases.
A player from each disability category has been nominated for the prize, this year’s shortlisted contenders are Daniel Lee (Groups 1 and 2), Daniel Blunn (Group 3), Mickey Chambers (Groupsa 4 and 5), Michael Farrell (Group 6A), Daniel Harwood (Group 6B), Nick Neale (Group 7) and Shabir Ahmed (Group 8).
We were friends; the first picture at the start of this article is one I took at SWSA. That was Vic in a nutshell. He had a tremendous and gentle sense of humour. Reading this piece again today, brought tears in my eyes. I’m sure that I’m not the only one feeling this way.