SNOOKER IN SERBIA - AN INTERVIEW WITH VLADIMIR JANKOVIC
Here at The Cue View I aim to cover as much to do with amateur cuesports as possible. I am also very pleased to learn of new areas taking up our wonderful sports.
One region that is starting to really embrace snooker is central and eastern Europe. Under the Hearn/Ferguson administration, the professional circuit has visited the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria and Latvia.
Another country discovering the benefits of snooker is Serbia. Vladimir Jankovic is a fan and a writer who has had articles published on the Serbian Snooker Federation website. He has also recently produced content for a TV sports station in his home country.
Eurosport's snooker coverage across the continent has been a huge factor in the increased popularity. Vladimir started watching, and was attracted to the sport. He explains how he got involved and inspired -
"I started to watch and get more involved 5 years ago. The first tournament I watched was the World Championship. I really like it because it's a gentleman's sport.
Shortly after that I began to read about the history of the sport. That's when I got an idea of writing for our snooker association. I offered my services to them, they accepted, and we started a collaboration.
At first my job was to write news and reports, but as time went by, I've also started to write historical features about players in regards their life stories.
Every big tournament is covered by Europsort, it's on TV all the time. People really like snooker here; I think the most popular player in Serbia is Ronnie O'Sullivan. Mark Selby is also very popular here too."
The competitive scene in Serbia is beginning to take off. Although it might be a little while until we have the first Serbian professional, the country has a structured amateur scene -
"Snooker in Serbia is getting more popular each year. We have 4 registered clubs here and throughout the season we host 8 ranking tournaments and an end of season 'Masters' event for the best 16 players only.
We also have a National Championship and our players compete in the European Championships."
Serbia has a big snooker date in the future too, as it has been rewarded to stage the European Amateur Championship in 2019.
Vladimir also explains their hopes in regards to hosting professional players -
"The European Championship 2019 will be held in Serbia.
Other than that, I think fans would love to see some of the best snooker players in the world occasionally, perhaps some exhibitions or a tournament maybe, but there is a money issue of course.
It is a 'young' sport, if I can put it that way. Our federation still struggles to find sponsors as we only have amateur players, but we are hoping that in the next few years things will change. Hosting the European Championship is a huge step forward."
Vladimir will feature in the future here on The Cue View. Keep an eye out for his content! I would like to thank him for his time and insight.
The above image is courtesy of Vladimir Jankovic.
Written and published by Michael Day on 29th July 2017