Snooker tipped as ideal for seniors

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“It is never too late to start”says Gore man Ernie MacManus, an 88-year-old snooker player.

MacManus said he took up snooker a year or two ago after the death of his wife.

Before that he played on and off, about “every six months”.

“I started properly at 85 .. it’s never too late.”

“I now play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Wednesday is a practice day, so me and Wattie come in on a Tuesday and practise for the practice,” MacManus said.

“It was about four years ago that Wattie Gee taught me how to play snooker properly .. he’s still the best player, though,” he said.

MacManus said he and Gee would like to see more people take up the sport.

“It’s really a great way to keep fit. It’s a pity a few more don’t head along to play.”

Gee said snooker should be played in schools.

“They teach it in schools over in Australia.”

It is a great sport for retired people to play and the RSA had a great facility, MacManus said.

“Around Gore there’s an amount of retired people who have moved to town from the countryside. Instead of shivering out in the cold they can come down here where it’s nice, warm and dry and have a break in one of the best snooker rooms in the country.”

“We could do with women players, too, and if you don’t know how to play we will soon teach you.”

“It keeps your eye in – it’s all about co-ordination of the eye and hand.”

As well as playing snooker, MacManus started a “golden oldies” snooker tournament at the Gore RSA earlier this year.

It was open to snooker players over 65.

“It was a great day. Everyone who played is coming back next year,” he said.