Hot pots! Awards for snooker aces

Thursday, 7th July — By Steve Barnett

Elliott Johnson-John Donovan-Donnie Gola

Emerging Gone2Pot players with trophies. From left: Elliott Johnson, John Donovan and Donnie Gola

PROMISING young potters signed off their season with silverware after being honoured for all their hard work and progress at the snooker table.

Among the emerging Gone2Pot players recognised at the Hurricane Room in King’s Cross was Somers Town’s John Donovan.

The 16-year-old, who also practises at Cousins Snooker Club in Islington, was crowned champion of the Cuestars Under-21s Silver Tour this summer – and is already busy at the practice table preparing for the Gold Tour which gets underway in September.

Having recently described his daily routine as “eat, sleep, snooker”, there was perhaps little surprise when Donovan was unveiled as Gone2Pot’s highest-ranked player of the season.

Elliott Johnson, 17, was voted the club’s second-best player, while 14-year-old Donnie Gola, who lives in King’s Cross, was named third at the special trophy presentation, which was held in June.

Coach and Gone2Pot founder John Woods revealed the awards were about a lot more than just praising his squad of savvy snooker players.

He said: “They also act as an incentive – all season the kids are looking at the rankings to see who is the best player in their age group.

Sharon Zhou receives her Gone2Pot award from John Woods

“It’s important to reward the players when they are doing well. But the awards also create a sense of competition, and encourage them to practise more because they want to win.”

Among the other winners were Yosouf Matib, 12, named Under-13s champion, while 17-year-old Sharon Zhou, who lives in Highgate, was voted the club’s most improved player. There was also an accolade for Lee Clayden, 14, who was presented with the sportsmanship award – a special honour as it is a trophy voted on by the players.

The good news for those who missed out on the top trophies is that the wait for Gone2Pot’s next presentation won’t be too long.

Woods explained: “We usually hold our end-of-season awards at the end of the year, but because of all the Covid restrictions these were our delayed 2021 awards – so we are set to hold another presentation, for the 2022 season, in December.

“Our club is like one big family, so the awards do is a chance for us to all come together and celebrate how well the kids are doing. They are great fun.”

For more information on Gone2Pot children’s snooker club call John on 07511 916346 or email john@gone2pot.net

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