WPSA Launches Asian Academy

The WPBSA has opened a new Asian Snooker Academy in Bangkok, Thailand, to assist with the growth of snooker in the Far East.

It's the first of a planned network of Academies in the UK and overseas which will underpin the professional game and boost the development of snooker at grass-roots level, supporting the work achieved by the WPBSA coaching programme which was launched last year.

In a two-tier structure, the Academies will be considered the Centres of Excellence, and this level of accreditation will only be granted to those locations which achieve the highest levels of training, development and facilities. At a lower level, snooker clubs will have the chance to become Accredited Centres by having official coaches in the club and a commitment to youth development.

The new Asian Academy is a joint initiative between the WPBSA and the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports, supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand. Mr Kanokphand Chulakasem - Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand - attended the official opening. The Academy will help develop snooker in over 28 Asian countries.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “We're delighted to open this fantastic new facility in Thailand, and we look forward to the growth of this programme, which will lead to more Academies committed to coaching and the development of our sport.

"The grass roots of snooker is vital to the future of the professional game so we must make sure there is the talent coming through in years to come. The planned network of Academies, alongside our coaching programme, will help us to achieve this goal.”