Batchelder want potential billiards players cueing up
Warwick cueman Alan Batchelder is on a one-man mission to save the Leamington & District Billiards League.
Batchelder, who only began playing the sport two years ago, has formed a new club to replace Leamington Liberals, who have merged with Lillington Club.
The loss of Liberals would have left the league with just three teams - something Batchelder said would not be viable.
So Batchelder has made the switch from Nelson Club to Warwick Conservative Club and set about trying to recruit new members.
“The league is close to dying,” he said. “Anything less than four just wouldn’t work.
“I’ve got four definites in the team now, but you need five, if not six, to act as reserves.
“I’ve exhausted the people at Warwick Conservative Club so I’m now asking if anyone else is interested in playing.”
Batchelder says the long-term aim is to encourage more teams to enter the league, which has been running since 1960.
However, he admits the lack of national TV coverage and the sport’s reputation as an old-man’s game makes finding new recruits difficult.
“It’s not televised like snooker and it means some people aren’t even sure what it is.
“The other problem we have is that a couple of guys are getting too old to do it.
“We need new blood.
“It’s not a spectator sport, but changes have been made to the rules to make it more exciting.”
Despite being a late convert, Batchelder believes mastering billiards’ intricacies have had a positive impact on his snooker game.
And, he is encouraging those interested in finding out what billiards is all about to check out www.englishbilliards.org which has several instructional videos and advice for potential new players.
He said: “I took billiards up to improve my snooker and I found it a challenge and an interesting game, but most people don’t know that until they try it out.”
The Leamington & District League reconvenes in September.
If you are interested in playing for Warwick Conservative Club, contact Alan on 333270 or 490221.