Ayush Kumar, an international snooker player who has represented India in Asian Snooker Championship apart from bagging several national titles, is of the view that that sports bodies need to make some serious efforts for the upliftment of this sport in the country.
25-year-old Kumar, who has represented Punjab in eight editions of national snooker championship, is busy in preparation these days for the upcoming RKG Snooker Championship Pro Series to be held in Mumbai from June 10 to 14 this year, the overall winning prize money for which is `21 lakh. He currently ranks first in Punjab after winning the state championship last year.
A resident of Pakhowal Road, he started playing snooker at the age of 10 following in the footsteps of his father, who used to play it as a recreational activity. Soon Ayush discovered his liking for the sport and honed his skills to rank first when he won first ever sub-junior national snooker championship held at Chennai.
Earlier in 2005, he represented India in Asian Snooker Championship held at Thailand and in the following year he became the youngest player to win the national snooker championship at the age of 15 in under-21 age group.
"Snooker is an expensive game, there is enough talent but serious efforts are required from the sports bodies so that better infrastructure could be provided and more and more tournaments at the district and state level should be organised,"he says.
A decade ago ,when there was not sufficient rewards for a snooker player, despite winning at national championships I had to withdraw from the sports for two years which took a bearing on my performance level in the following years, rued Kumar.
Ayush opened a snooker point last year where he trains budding players.
Although things have certainly improved, but he emphasises that despite having a sizable number of talent available in city youth, sports authorities can come up with a comprehensive programme to promote and uplift the game.