Snookball - why don’t you give it a go?

September 07 2015

IT’S been hailed as a revolutionary sport that’s taking the world by storm - and if you want to play it just head to a pub in Mangotsfield.

IT’S been hailed as a revolutionary sport that’s taking the world by storm - and if you want to play it just head to a pub in Mangotsfield.
Manager Dan Braund and landlady Katrina Kelly have transformed the previously dreary front garden of The Salutation in St James Place by introducing Snookball.
The sport is a combination of snooker and football. It looks very much like a large snooker table that you can walk on but instead of using a cue to pocket the ball, you use your feet to kick the ball into the pocket-like nets.
The green felt of a traditional snooker table has been replaced by artificial grass and the resin balls by normal footballs.
Katrina and Dan have been delighted by the response from customers who say it helps keep their children happy while they enjoy a drink.
But it seems adults are equally intrigued and can’t resist having a go themselves.
Dan, 30, said: “It’s something different. We saw it on YouTube and like it and thought no-one else has got one so we’ll give it a go.
“It’s the same rules as a snooker or pool game. You set the ball up but instead of using a cue, you play with your feet. It’s wicked for children. Parents can bring their children and can have a drink. It’s like a play area. It keeps them happy so parents can relax a bit more.
“The adults love it to. They have a few drinks and try out their football skills. It can get quite competitive!”
Dan said children are allowed to use it with parents’ supervision but it’s only available to customers and their children.
He said: “We police it quite well. We have had children come up and start to play it but if their parents aren’t customers, they aren’t allowed on it.”
Katrina, 51, said the table, which measures 6ft by 3ft, is proving an asset to Mangotsfield.
“It’s been used by toddlers right up to 80-year-olds,” she said.
“It’s a great sport. It’s free and you can kick about as much as you like. You can tire yourself out or just mull along.
“Grandparents and grandchildren play it more than anyone. It’s made the village more of a centre again.
“We had just concrete in the front before and I was racking my brains as to what to do but I knew I didn’t want anything where we had to charge.
“The table can also be used in the winter and for other things as well. We’ve even had a couple of girls doing dance routines on it and young ones have been bowling on it. It’s been fantastic.”
The table is just one of a series of attractions Dan and Katrina are introducing to engage the community.
They are hosting a charity bungee jump on September 5 and a cake bake-off in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support on September 25.
They also held a dog show judged by a local vet during the last Bank Holiday weekend.