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The UEA Pool and Snooker club is facing an existential crisis after vital facilities promised by the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS) never materialised, following the summer redevelopment of Union House. In an email exchange seen by Concrete, the union has admitted responsibility for the lack of facilities, claiming that that there was a “miscommunication between [UUEAS] and the architects” and that “there are no excuses”.

The Pool and Snooker club, who won the annual Derby Day tournament for UEA against in 2014, is one of UEA’s oldest student sports clubs. It has existed ever since the university was established in 1963 and members have always had access to two full-size snooker tables to practice on. However, the snooker room, previously located upstairs in Union House, was demolished during the refurbishment of the building during the summer leaving the club with nowhere to train.

Nikolas Charalambous, President of Pool and Snooker and Bucs England captain, has expressed his frustration at the club’s situation, arguing that as a result of their lack of facilities the club has seen its membership drop by 45% since the last academic year: “Only in the past five years the club changed from Pool, to Pool and Snooker and this year we are going to be playing in Bucs for the first time in the team event. To lose such a valuable part of our club that offers members an incentive to join has affected us dramatically”.

“The lack of facilities has effected the number of members we have at the club. The snooker tables were such a good opportunity for people to play at a great rate of £15 and to be able to play on campus between lectures when you have some time free… Team morale has of course been affected, with the opportunity to not practise as much as we had done previously, I helped coach some of our members last year on the snooker tables as it provided a great environment”.

The union did not notify the club that they would not be able to provide the promised facilities it had previously promised them until 8th September, at which point the club were informed of the situation via email. UUEAS explained that “the area earmarked for the snooker table is not large enough, and also to put the table there would block fire exit routes”.

They went on to state that with the building now “built as it is, nothing can be done, and the bottom line is that a snooker table will not fit in Union House”.

To add to the situation Charalambous claims that the snooker tables that the union promised to hold in storage until there was room for one to be installed in the refurbished building have been given away: “The snooker tables have been destroyed, at the end of last year one snooker tables was given away to a member of the public and the other was kept in storage till the new postgraduate area was completed. Once the area was completed and the club found out that we would not be able to have a snooker table in the postgraduate area the other one was thrown away”.

Yinbo Yu, UUEAS Activities and Opportunities Officer, has said that the union is doing everything it can to help ease the situation: “The union is paying for a table at Riley’s for Pool and Snooker this year. We’re contacting [the architects] again regarding this issue, also arranging a meeting with the president Nick again to discuss about it”.

Pool and Snooker’s Union Council representative, Thomas Bulley, has proposed an resolution for Thursday’s meeting, demanding that the union “support the club in finding a suitable room and location to provide the club with similar facilities that had previously existed”. They are further seeking assurance that “that the location that would be provided would be safe from such events that have previously happened, if something similar was to happen then the club would receive a similar location to continue the club”.

While the club are quietly confident that the motion will pass, Charalambous is still cautious about what the future has in store for the club: “Anything can happen, if our union motion does pass then I can see it making a huge difference to our club. Almost every club has facilities on campus to practise and for us it can be so costly to use facilities away from campus.

“If the motion was to pass and we get what we need then I think the future of the club is not in doubt, without facilities on campus to inspire interest and to give people the chance to play then I think our future is not secure as a club”.

01/12/2015

About Author

danfalvey Dan Falvey is an undergraduate politics student about to start his second year at UEA. Being an avid tea drinker means that he has the most essential skill needed to be a successful journalist. Outside of his interests in writing and politics, Dan. is also a regular theatre-goer, film geek and most importantly, a supporter of the mighty MK Dons.



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