Snooker star Oliver Tam right on cue with call to promote snooker in schools

By Ben Pang

Oliver says schools should provide pool tables to help raise students’ awareness about the sport

By Ben Pang |

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Oliver Tam has set his sights on the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Snooker star Oliver Tam Yun-fung, 17, is enthusiastic about promoting the sport in schools.

“I hope schools can provide pool tables to help raise students’ awareness about the sport,” said Oliver, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 ACBS Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, earlier this month. “The sport can also be taught in one of our physical education lessons. Then students can get an idea about the sport at a young age.”

Oliver, the winner of the Hong Kong Under-21 Snooker Open Championship 2015 (Event One), also hoped more snooker centres could be set up for young people. “The sport has given the impression that snooker players have to play in smoke-filled centres. I think there should be more training centres, especially for young players.”

Oliver is defending his title at the Hong Kong Snooker Open which runs until April 30 at General Snooker Club (Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan). He’s also set his sights on the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

But most of all, he just wants to keep playing snooker because he “enjoys the sound of the colourful cue balls hitting each other”.

Bench notes:

If you could have a superpower for 24 hours, what would you choose and how would you use it?
The Time Machine in the Japanese manga series, Doraemon. In the quarter-finals of the IBSF World Under-18 Snooker Championship (men’s category) in St Petersburg, Russia, I took a lead 3-0 against Chan Ming-tung. But I didn’t stay focused so Ming-tung made a strong comeback and won the match. I wish I could go back to that match and avoid making the same mistakes.

Who is your favourite athlete?
Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, who earned the nickname “The Rocket” because of his rapid playing style.

What drink would you never give up?
Coffee. It’s the best drink to keep me awake!

What song title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger. Its lyrics, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, reminds me to persevere when faced with tough situations.

Ten years into the future, you are a famous athlete. What company would you sign on as spokesperson for, and what product would you promote?
Parris Cues. I would promote the company’s cues which have enabled me to play better.