By Fin Ruane
Earlier, I wrote about the final event in the inaugural CrossGuns Junior Series and who captured the two junior titles.
But the last award of the series and possibly the most important was the CrossGuns Scholarship Award.
It’s an award I wanted to offer to a junior player that really stood out for me during the season.
It wasn’t about how many wins the player had or how many events they played in, rather the opportunity I felt I could give him that would benefit his game over the 2016/17 season.
Looking back when I was a junior I had unlimited free practice, a coach whenever I needed help with my game or just someone to talk to, and plenty of quality practice partners.
These days it’s harder for the juniors – the clubs struggle to afford to offer the hours of free practice, coaches like myself charge a fee, whilst travel and entry fees to junior events which, apart from this series at CrossGuns, are all outside the capital city and add to the growing expense.
Providing a scholarship was something I wanted to offer back to the junior game and the players in this year’s Junior Series were all in with a chance.
Snooker is a tough game and each and every junior in Ireland deserves some sort of helping hand with their development.
That’s why I began the Junior Series but unfortunately there can be only one scholarship winner.
Several names were obviously always going to be in the running so selecting one was a difficult decision.
However, I felt that a player in the under-19 section would benefit more than from the under-14s as this is the age when it’s really make or break for an aspiring youngster.
One player who caught my attention throughout the series, not just for his obvious natural snooker talent, but also his love of the game and his willingness to learn, was Aaron Holland.
Watching the way he goes about his business on and off the table really confirmed to me that here’s a player who fully deserves this opportunity and I couldn’t think of anyone better to win the first CrossGuns Scholarship.
His talent I feel is limitless and I’m convinced his game will continue to flourish with the opportunity the scholarship will offer him.
I’m looking forward to beginning working with Aaron and helping him improve his already very talented game throughout the new season.
The scholarship will include unlimited free practice in CrossGuns for the 2016/17 season, paid entry into all junior events in Ireland for the campaign, as well as paid entry into the Finbarr Ruane Snr Memorial Cup.
I will provide Aaron with free coaching throughout the season while a waistcoat with the CrossGuns logo will also be presented.
Congratulations to Aaron Holland on being awarded the first CrossGuns Scholarship.