Located close to the River Avon, opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, there’s a snooker club with big ambitions in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Stratford Sports Club is a huge community hub, supporting seven different sports, with snooker very much at the forefront of its offer.
Over the past six months, the club’s snooker section has focused on providing a better standard of programme and playing opportunities for its existing members, while obtaining new members from the surrounding area.
Former professional and WPBSA coach Andrew Norman was appointed Head of Snooker at the club in the summer and has brought a wealth of knowledge, experience and fresh ideas, both on the table and off.
Andrew has engaged members through his passion for snooker to create a competitive, fun nature to the club. Adult and junior players alike are seeing an improved playing standard.
Junior snooker is an area of the game the club has invested in, linking in to EPSB programmes. Following a successful EPSB summer holiday club held over the school holidays, through which the club gained 14 new junior players, Stratford is now running two sessions for juniors – on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Andrew is assisted by promising player Mitchell, who has supported the summer club sessions alongside completing five online skills modules as part of the EPSB’s Young Leaders programme, part-funded by Sport England. He will be rewarded in completing the programme with a trip to the opening session of the Masters at the Alexandra Palace, along with other graduating Young Leaders from across the country.
The club is also excited to be staging its first PowerGlide English Under-14 event on 18 December. Andrew has been preparing the young hopefuls to play in their first ever competitive matches.
On the facilities side, the club has upgraded its tables to championship standard with match cloths, while sets of 1G balls allow excellent consistency across all playing conditions.
In 2022, the club will be staging a range of pro-ams, club level competitions and coaching courses for all standards of ability to enjoy.
The club’s management and snooker committee have really bought in to the expansion of snooker activities at the club, revitalising the cue sports offer and welcoming new players of different ages, abilities and backgrounds.
Stratford has also made use of the 147 Club’s supply partner scheme to support its hospitality provision through a contract with Leisure Power Purchasing (LPP).
Head of Hospitality Danielle Neve commented on the LPP contract: “It gives us access to better pricing with GK and Bidfood, our two key suppliers. We now have direct access to national account managers, rather than regional reps, which essentially puts us in a ‘key client’ category, with more power for price negotiations.”
Neil Dagley from LPP added: “The main benefit of LPP membership is on price. You should see a significant saving with Greene King on your bar supply, and with Bidfood on food, snacks, soft drinks, catering disposables, janitorial supplies and much more.
“The bottom line is that membership results in cost of sales savings meaning increased profits.”
In such an historical location, it’s fantastic to see a club putting in modern standards, a superb offer for club members and developing snooker players of the future.