Meet the Joneses – the Snooker Loopy family (part I)

19:42:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Hannah Jones
The snooker virus is mercilessly, for it can contaminate a person as well as a whole group of people who find themselves permanently addicted to this lovely sport. Until now the humanity hasn’t found a cure for this “disease”, but I’m not sure that’s what we really want, is it? ;-)
Today, I will share with you the story of a family that has been addicted to snooker for years, a family that’s proud of having received this cue sport in their home and that will surely become a legend in the snooker industry – the Joneses.

Starring as the older daughter, the future snooker star, we have Hannah Jones. She is almost 15 years old and many of you might have heard about her achievements in snooker, pool or billiards (if not, shame of you! :-P However from now on you have no excuse, so keep on reading this piece ;-) )
She is a cue sport lover, a teenager with a very strong ambition to succeed in life, a very mature person, always knowing what she really wants and not afraid of chasing each dream that develops in her mind.

Mark Jones is starring as the loving father of Hannah and Ellie Mae (Hannah’s little sister, such an adorable 7 year-old kid who’s in love with pool and golf). Also a snooker lover and player, Mark is the one that supports his beloved young daughters in living their dream, being constantly on the road, giving advice when needed, cheering, feeling the tension of a decider or a hard match and fighting to make them known.

Snooker entered in a very interesting way, in Hannah’s life. Not being too much into shopping (have to sympathize on this one), she found herself watching her dad practicing snooker in a club called “The Wellington”, in Cardiff, Wales. She was only 5 years old, but she got mesmerized by the way those crazy balls were running on the table on his father’s strong command.
“Dad would put me on a crate that he got from behind the bar to stand on and I would try and play shots. I loved every minute when I played and absorbed everything I did, so I learned quite quickly”, says Hannah as she almost is reliving those first moments when she and snooker clicked.

Hannah and Murphy the Magician
A year later the family moved to Derby and when Hannah turned 7, being now tall enough as to reach the snooker table, she joined the Junior Snooker Club, a place that she still plays at.
“The coach there helped me develop my cue action and I started playing a lot better! Then, when I was 9 I got a scholarship for the WLBSA tour and that is when I started playing in major tournaments. My game has really developed from there to what it is now and without the scholarship I would probably just be playing on a Saturday in the Junior Club! Getting to know Maria, Reanne and other top players has helped me as well with my decision to play the game.”

So that’s how snooker made itself known to Hannah’s. Simple, right? Well, a terrific snooker player always gives that impression, that everything is so damn simple. Still, we all know that first of all, snooker is a mental sport, so one must posses a strong character and always be prepared for the win as well as for the lose.

Snooker Loopy: I’ve noticed that even when you don’t win an event you find the strength to say “Hey, it was an interesting experience” and you get back there and fight for the next title. That’s very mature of you. So, what is the mentality of a snooker player? Is it if you win keep going, if you don’t, keep going? Do you have a certain discipline that you strictly follow each day?

Hannah Jones: “YES! You can NEVER give up! In every tournament I aim to win. Every match and every frame I aim to win. With some people this is hard because if you lose it does hurt and knocks you down. With me though if I lose, I just lose. It doesn't really faze me and I do learn from my mistakes. I can get frustrated sometimes when I miss silly shots or lose a very important match, but you can’t be negative if you want to improve. When I lose all I think is... 'Maybe it didn't go too well this time... but next time I am going to play better. Next time I am going to win!' And it’s that positive mentality that has kept me going.

Snooker Loopy: Ok, so here we are: my favorite section of each interview that I take. It is called “ It’s bragging time!!!” :-)) So, please share with the rest of the world your achievements, the moments that bring a smile on your face, the events that you won, the titles you are most proud of, your favorite moments from a competition…anything that defines you as a player.

Hannah Jones: “Well … where do I start? (she laughs) I have won many titles and I am proud to have won every single one of them whether they are adult or junior titles, snooker, billiards or pool titles. My biggest achievement has got to be winning the WLBSA World Ladies Junior Championships! This is also the title I am most proud of and the one that people recognise me by, in school and out.

Winning the Amber Valley Sportsperson of the Year
The most memorable moment that has made me smile is winning the Amber Valley Sportsperson of the Year Award! I remember sitting there as they read out the achievements of the other person nominated for the award, and I was practicing my 'runner up' face with mum. I went to the stage to with the other nominee to wait for the presenter to reveal who had won... but they read out MY name!! I literally froze on the spot and after that I couldn't stop smiling. I was then put forward to the Derbyshire awards in the Junior Sportswoman category and won it for the 2nd year running which made me very proud as well.

We can easily consider her a multitasking person, for she also plays pool and billiards. Although her “forever love” was, is and will remain snooker, she is no stranger from other cue sports and finds the best in them, in order to improve her snooker skills.

I don’t play much pool but if I played pool for say an hour then went to play snooker I do find it difficult because the table is so small in pool and the balls smaller than on a snooker table.
As for billiards, well it helps my snooker. Billiards is all about angles, so converting from billiards to snooker means my position is a lot sharper, although I don’t play enough billiards which I have changed as lately I have started to play for 15 minutes during my practice sessions to sharpen up my position.

Hannah in action ... the green baize is mine!!! muhahaha
Not very often I’m given the change to meet such a mature person as Hannah. She’s found the balance that many other players haven’t yet – she can be very, very persuasive and a genuine “ferocious animal” when she plays snooker, but off the table she is like any other girl her age.

She takes pleasure in music; actually she is madly in love with music. “In school I will be walking around with my friends and I just break out into song.” This, by the why makes me imagine her in the role of Maria from “The Sound of Music”, singing and dancing on a wild field from the Alps. :-))
She and her best friend (also named Hannah) spend hours dancing, watching the Vampire Suck series or comedy films, but our little snooker star also enjoys reading her Twilight Saga when she gets a bit of free time and walk her favorite pet, Smudge.

Hannah’s biggest dream is … well, I better let her talk about it : “I would really like to be the Ladies World Champion first and then would like to be a professional snooker player and get into top 30 in the world. That would be fantastic but that goal is incredibly hard to reach. I have a lot of improving to do to even be a professional first. But I won’t stop believing that I can do it, even if people say I can't, because if you work hard, hard, hard you can achieve anything!

So, how is it that such a young girl holds such a big and bold dream? Well, I happen to think that normal kids tend to do extraordinary things! ;-)

In the end Hannah, would like to give her deepest thanks:
- to all those people who follow me and support me through Facebook or Twitter :) you’re all amazing and i love you all! :D
Hannah at the 2011 Pink Ribbon
- to the snooker boys who always ask how I’m doing - I can relate to them as they are all reaching for the same goal.
- to Roger and Sandra who run the junior snooker club - i wouldn't be where i am without your support.
- to my school that support me by giving me time off for tournaments when it is needed and help me catch up with my studies.
- to the staff at my club who never fail to put a smile on my face.
- to my friends - Hannah, Anna, Georgie and Bridgette who are always there for me and keep my feet on the ground!
- to my whole family for all of your endless love and support.
- to a very special thank you to Leo Fernandez who has become my mentor and coach thank you for being so helpful and supportive!
- to my little sister for being, well, herself, and coming to watch me play.
- to my parents ~ I wouldn't be where i am today without you. You are always so supportive. You have inspired me and made me the person that I am today!
Thank you all so much and I love you all!

to be continued ... tomorrow!!! ;-)