Jonathan on cue to put snooker on map

SUDBURY: Sport - Jonathan Adams feature
Sudbury Snooker Club, 52 North St, Sudbury
GB Paralympian shot-putter Jonathan Adams for a feature about his role with World Snooker, helping to bring disability snooker to the masses.
Picture Mark Westley ANL-160113-232747009
SUDBURY: Sport - Jonathan Adams feature Sudbury Snooker Club, 52 North St, Sudbury GB Paralympian shot-putter Jonathan Adams for a feature about his role with World Snooker, helping to bring disability snooker to the masses. Picture Mark Westley ANL-160113-232747009

He may have his sights firmly fixed on a Paralympic place in Rio, but Jonathan Adams is also right on cue to put snooker on the world map for disabled players.

The 23-year-old shotputter from Great Cornard is heavily involved with a full-on role with the World Disability Billiards and Snooker body.

The WDBS has been created to give more people with disabilities the opportunity to play cue sports.

It has been set up under the auspices of the WPBSA, with guidance from the English Federation of Disability Sport.

After a tough 18 months of his own, Adams has drawn on all of his mental strength and experiences within athletics in his role with the WDBS.

Adams said: “It’s definitely early stages, but under adversity and pressure you can sink or swim.

“I believe through my experiences you can fear the future before it’s happened or embrace the unknown and have no regrets.

“That’s what I believe will make a difference in making WDBS last as, I for one, will help in giving the body the best opportunity in succeeding.”

The aims of the WDBS are to provide a sustainable platform to which disabled men and women can have access at all levels to participate in snooker.

WDBS was created in hope of returning to the Paralympics following the WPBSA’s bid to be accepted into the Olympics.

Among his duties with the body, Adams promotes the WDBS through interviews, TV appearances, blogs and social media.

He also sits on the board of directors as an advocate for disabled men and women, advising on issues that can be encountered when working with disabilities, as well as acting in a support role for legislators.

Adams said: “It’s an exciting and a fresh start for disabled players which creates new opportunities previously not available in the sport.

“It allows people to taste the beauty of competition and represent themselves as cue sport players with disabilities instead of being seen as a ‘disabled’ person.

“Players can come together as one collective community under the WDBS and grow the game together, creating something innovative and exciting for future tournaments.”

Adams added: “Snooker is a sport that captures the senses and captures the beauty of trying to master a challenging sport and the pursuit for success.

“It has it all, but also allows people from all walks of life to participate evenly, and is truly an open sport for all to participate in from grass roots to the professional game.”

On the importance of representing players as an organisation, Adams said: “It’s crucial to feel the players are representing the WDBS, as much as themselves.

“It’s key to have both the players and the organisation working together with the same goals and objectives in mind, so that where possible they help self-promote their sport and collectively we achieve things together.”

Despite his athletics and training commitments, Adams has been able to find the right balance for both sports in his life.

“It’s not difficult to juggle really,” he said.

“The WPBSA, World Snooker and WDBS are fully behind my athletics career as that’s ultimately what brought me into working for them.

“If I ever require specialist dispensation due to my athletics commitments, they are more than happy to support me in every way possible.

“The scheduling is on my terms too.

“Training wise, I train on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, which allows me to maintain control of not only my sport but primarily my life.

“It allows me time to relax away from athletics and its pressures while also working with the WDBS.”

Adams spends a large part of his spare time at Sudbury Snooker Centre.

Louise Milton, manager at the centre, said: “We’ve watched Jonathan Adams grow into the man we see today and are very proud to have helped him in the last 12 years.

“We are grateful we’ve played a small part in his strength and helping to get him where he is today and in the future.

“He is an amazing individual.

“We have a lovely club and good facilities here and welcome any standard of play.”