Former world snooker champion John Parrott paid a visit to Sheffield’s Becton Centre for Children and Young People this week.
Parrott, who conquered the Crucible in 1991, visited the centre along with Seema Jaswal who is part of the BBC’s presentation team at the World Snooker Championship which is running this week.
The centre, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, was presented with a snooker table by the sport’s global governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and the half-size table will remain permanently in the centre, which looks after children and young adults aged up to 18 with mental health issues and learning disabilities.
In a game of doubles featuring two children, Parrott teamed up with 13-year-old Ellis to beat the team of Jaswal and 16-year-old George. All four players were presented with medals.
Parrott said: “You could see the smiles on the faces of everyone there. It’s a lovely facility and I’m sure the table will be very popular, particularly for the two lads who played today and showed a fair bit of potential. Snooker is a game that everyone can play and enjoy.”
Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA, added: “We are using these Star tables in communities and schools across the world now, they are always extremely popular and it’s all about getting people from all walks of life involved in snooker. We have a fantastic relationship with the city of Sheffield and it’s important to engage with the community in this way.
“As a governing body we support the mental health charter for Sport and Recreation which aims to create a welcoming, inclusive and positive environment for everyone to participate in sport and recreation. So it was particularly poignant for us to visit this centre in Sheffield and donate the table which no doubt will get plenty of use.”
David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “This generous donation will give children coming to the Becton Centre a great distraction from their illness and give them the opportunity to engage in a fun activity with other patients and staff. Thanks to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the patients can feel a part of the World Snooker Championship action while continuing with their treatment.”