Tuesday, 24 November 2020

‘Street snooker’ goes on trial at community event

NEW sports equipment is to be tested at Makins recreation ground in Henley.

NEW sports equipment is to be tested at Makins recreation ground in Henley.

“Street snooker” will be installed for a family sports and community day on Tuesday organised by housing association Soha to see how popular it is with town residents.

Play Innovation, which developed the kick-wall game, will provide the equipment and instructors and also run “high break” competitions for kicking and throwing with medals and trophies for the winners and runners-up.

This will cost £1,000, which will be split between the town council and Oxfordshire County Council.

The money will be reimbursed if councillors decide to place an order for a permanent street snooker facility.

Town clerk Mike Kennedy told a meeting of the council’s recreation and amenities committee that the idea of having street snooker was first discussed when the artificial pitch at Jubilee Park was replaced in 2011.

He said: “I had a thought that maybe this would work better at Makins. There is a blank wall up there which would work quite well.

“It is a tester for a more permanent facility should the committee wish to explore that and then the cost will be reimbursed against the permanent street snooker facility.”

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “I can’t see where the demand for this is coming from.”

But Councillor David Silvester said: “I think this street snooker is worth looking at. It would be a good idea to take it up to Makins.

“It is a very nice place and we owe it to the community up there in Gainsborough to give them some novelty now and again.”

The skate park at the recreation ground is also due to be replaced at a cost of £100,000 and Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “Over the next year we should have a serious look at putting more facilities up at Makins, be it a skate park or a proper football pitch.

“We can have a look at this street snooker to see if it is suitable for a permanent place.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton said that £1,000 was a lot of money and she was tempted to use it elsewhere.

Councillor Sam Evans suggested the fee could be negotiated, adding: “Most commercial companies would expect to be knocked down by 10 or 20 per cent.” Mr Kennedy responded: “They have to pay for their team. They don’t just dump it there and walk away.

“They need people on hand to show how it works and they have a competition with medals and trophies.”

Councillor Ian Reissmann, who lives in Gainsborough Road, said: “It should be seen as an investment. It should be in line with reinvigorating and refurbishing the Makins site, which is in need of care and attention.”

He said anyone could go to the community event, adding: “You don’t need passports, it is not a gated community. You are all welcome.”

Jeni Wood, who chairs the committee, told the Henley Standard: “The more people who play, the better idea we will have of whether it would be a popular addition to the equipment we have in our recreation grounds. Street snooker is reputed to be great fun for all ages. The equipment is here for one day for us to try out so come and find out for yourself.”

Team GB handball captain Bobby White will attend the event, which will include a barbecue from 4pm to 7pm for residents of the Gainsborough estate.

The street snooker will be available to play from 10am to 6pm.

Jackie Logan, of Soha, said: “This event is all about people getting to know their neighbours better and developing a positive sense of community.”

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