World Snooker Championship 2024: Ronnie O’Sullivan chases record eighth title


Aside from chasing history, O’Sullivan recently penned a three-year ambassadorial agreement with Saudi Arabia, committing the world number one to playing in all World Snooker Tour events in the nation.

As part of that he says he is also committed to setting up an academy in the Middle East and developing an elite environment to widen the appeal and success of the sport.

“If you look at what China has done with their young players, you can copy and paste that and Saudi Arabia can develop academies where young players can go and play, create competitions and events,” he added.

“I want to be part of it to make sure they get the right type of coaching. I’ve spent some time with a couple of young players trying to give them good basics and share things with them. I love seeing people develop.

“I used to be fascinated by the Nick Bollettieri tennis academy and think if I was a young kid that is where I would want to go, practicing among Grand Slam champions. That would inspire you.

“All I wanted to do was be close to Steve Davis as a kid because I thought if I could learn something from him it would help me develop as a player.

“The excitement is creating an environment where young kids can develop as players and it is motivational that they can’t help but become brilliant snooker players.

“It’s like Kenya and runners. If you want to be the best runner in the world, you have to go and live in their back yard because they know how to train and take it to another level. That is what I want to try and do.”

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