Leith’s Chris Small has received a special accolade as he bids to become a top snooker coach.
The 40-year-old, who was forced to retire from playing the sport in 2005 after suffering from a spinal condition, has been named the Snooker Gym Coach Of The Year.
Small has been coaching for a little over 18 months and was delighted to receive the award, saying: “To receive such an acknowledgement is a great honour and makes all the effort worthwhile.
“I am really enjoying it and enjoy coaching players of all standards. Seeing a club player wanting to get better and helping them improve can be as rewarding as coaching a professional.
“I feel like I am getting there. The number of customers I have is gradually increasing. Most of the customers are from the Edinburgh area but I have had a few players come down from the north and a few enquiries from south of the Border too.”
Small’s award came as he achieved The Snooker Gym & IBSF Master Coach Level 3 standard, which required him to be assessed on various coaching exercises in London.
Nic Barrow, head coach and founder of The Snooker Gym and the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) Coaching Academy, insisted Small – whose greatest achievement as a player was winning the LG Cup in 2002 – was a worthy coach of the year.
He said “While I have examined over 100 snooker coaches, it is the extraordinary dedication and commitment that Chris gives that stood out for this year’s award.
“He is completely focused and committed and he is a great example to the players he coaches.”