Barbara Chambers lines up a shot while Lise Carlson selects a tool for her next turn during Friday morning play at the Monterey recreation centre.

Billiards club seeks to boost numbers

Social skills main ingredient in billiards/snooker club

Neil Jackson professes a love of reactive sports as a younger man. He enjoyed soccer, cricket and squash where the ball can determine your response.

Now he’s an avid snooker player, and co-ordinator of the Snooker and Billiards Club at Monterey Recreation Centre.

Like many, he came to the activity as a young man as well, but came back to the table and rekindled his interest after moving to Oak Bay and running into a pal.

“It’s a very different game (than other sports). I liken it to golf,” he said. “It’s very much you and the ball and you have to think and co-ordinate your body.”

Club membership currently includes roughly 20 ladies and 60 men. While it’s a healthy contingent, a few more players, particularly female couldn’t hurt.

After all, it’s as much about camaraderie as the sport itself. It’s social activity but without the hectic buzz you get with games like whist or bridge, Jackson notes.

On a Friday morning a foursome of ladies drop in for a few rounds of snooker.

“I can come here and play by myself or with other people. It’s hard to play table tennis on your own,” said Wendy Barry. “You can also play this game until you fall over. Literally until you die.”

It’s also not weather dependent, and at a $27 yearly fee – in addition to Monterey membership – it qualifies as an inexpensive endeavour.

“It’s a good skill to train the brain. You have to train your brain when you’re older,” said Barbara Chambers. “And it’s social.”

“We have social events as well,” Jackson said, explaining Christmas snookerfest. “We have all four tables occupied with four players on each and we draw names so you play with a different person every time.”

Jackson suggests someone new to the activity might benefit from lessons, provided through the recreation centre by a skilled member of the snooker/billiards club.

“It’s a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere here,” Jackson said. “If somebody’s looking to learn, just come in and get to know people.”

Drop in to check out the club at Monterey recreation centre, 1442 Monterey Ave.

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