By Eimear Rabbitt, intern

NUI Maynooth is once again on the look out for a snooker scholar. It is an award unique to the Kildare based University who prides itself on being the only third level institute in the world to offer such a scholarship.

The scholarship was founded in Maynooth four years ago and is the creation of two former teachers, Derek Stynes and Ciaran MacBhaird who believed that something needed to be done to encourage the strong snooker tradition at the University.

"The NUI Maynooth snooker club has been running for over fifty years and with so many sports scholarships on offer at Maynooth, it is only fair that one should be designed especially for those with a particular interest in snooker," Greg White who runs the scholarship told "Everyone involved in amateur snooker in Ireland knows about the scholarship and it is an excellent opportunity for those with an interest in the sport."

The successful scholar will receive 3000 euro per year over the duration of their course of study and will receive specialised coaching from national snooker coach PJ Nolan.

The successful candidate must undertake an academic degree course at the University and will continue to receive funding should they choose to progress to study at masters or postgraduate level.

"The scholarship will work around the students timetable but they must sign an agreement to undertake a certain amount of hours to practice and fulfil certain duties ", added Greg.

The scholarship is funded by the university of Maynooth, NUI Maynooth snooker club and by RIBSA (Republic of Ireland Billiard and snooker association). The success and value of the programme can be in no doubt following the university's victory in both individual and team competitions at the Intervarsity snooker Championships for the fourth year running.

The University's relationship with the sport was further strengthened recently when the NUI Maynooth snooker and pool club hosted a replay of the famous 1985 black ball final between world snooker champions Steve Davis and Denis Taylor.

The event which was played out if front of a packed lecture theatre marked the 25th anniversary of the famous 1985 world snooker championship in which underdog Taylor clinched victory at the death from the grasp of tournament favourite Davis.

The University's three snooker scholars, Johnny Williams from Monaghan, Vincent Muldoon from Galway and Robert Donohoe from Kildare then got a taste of world championship snooker when they played a frame each with two former giants of the game.