Misspent youth? Snooker could soon be taught in schools

The former manager of world champion Mark Selby is campaigning to put snooker on the UK curriculum.

Misspent youth? Snooker could soon be taught in schools

Mukesh Parmar believes that a modified form of the sport - on smaller tables and with numbers and mathematical symbols on the balls - can develop numeracy skills among students.

Parmar has worked on “functional snooker” - a form of the game developed by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

It has been recognised by the British Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) as a valuable means of teaching English and Maths through sport.

“It really does help in a lot of ways, " Parmar told the Leicester Mercury newspaper. "Not just with arithmetic and numbers, but also team building. It is a social activity too. There are many benefits and it is lots of fun."

"We are trying to develop snooker as a sport that could be on the curriculum."

Parmar worked with the “Jester from Leicester” through wins at the UK Championship and the Masters before the pair parted ways in 2013.

As well as his education plans, he remains confident snooker can meet its goal of becoming an Olympic sport.

"We are also trying to get snooker into Tokyo Olympics in 2020. It is already in the World Games, which is the next one down, so I think it is a very realistic target."

"Snooker is going through a real transformation. Since Barry Hearn took over five years ago, the profile of the sport has risen. The top level is fantastic. Now it is focussing on grass roots.”

In a poll conducted on the Mercury website, 65% of respondents backed the idea of snooker in schools.

Selby will begin his defence of the world championship at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on April 18.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.