Schools queue with cues for new competition

A pool competition for southern secondary schools is nearly finalised.

Former New Zealand No 1 snooker player Gary Gillard, of Christchurch, is working with Southland secondary schools' sports director Fiona Ward to introduce a pool competition, along with coaching.

Schools interested in competing include James Hargest College, Waiau Area School, Aurora College and Fiordland College.

Gillard is on the board of the New Zealand Billiards and Snooker Association and the board of the New Zealand Confederation of Billiard Sports.

He said this school term would concentrate on students being coached and upskilled on the rules of pool. Each school will have its own competition in the third term, July 21 to September 26.

The top cueist from each school proceeds to the Southland final. The winner will meet other provincial champions in the South Island final.

Gillard launched a secondary schools' pool competition in Christchurch last year. Fifty-six students from five schools took part. "We got a lot of good feedback from it," he said.

Gillard hoped to have 50 to 60 schools, from Invercargill to Tokoroa, taking part in competitions this year.

Members of the Invercargill Working Mens Club, Club Southland (Invercargill), the Tuatapere RSA and Town and Country clubs are willing to help with the pool competition and coaching.

"They've been very supportive," Gillard said.

"Southland has historically been strong for cue sports."