No Impediment for Champions:
Snooker - The 'Highway' to Success!
Photo : Wiki Commons / Michael Maggs
Photo : Horia is first from top left corner
„Touching ball! Fault! Free ball!” These were the words that resounded in a room full of tables, balls and dressed up gentelmen. Surprisingly, expressions related to football weren’t anymore in the limelight, one of the less practiced sports in Romania, snooker, being now the one that raised the heart rate of well-behaved people.
I had the great opportunity to get to know this sport in a deeper manner when I first attended a snooker game. I must admit that I at first I perceived the silence which surrounded the whole room a little bit awkwardly and uncomfortably. However, that was the first sign that snooker is not just an ordinary game, but one that includes elegance, style and determination. My assumptions about the features of this sport have been quickly confirmed by a player who caught my attention immediately.
Horia Duta, a 17 year old teenager, student at one of the best high schools in Brasov, discovered the passion for this sport about seven years ago when he was constantly watching snooker games on TV. It so happened that one of his mates was signed in a snooker club and Horia participated as a spectator in a game. That was the moment when he realised how this sport could change his life and how much he would love to be a player, not a spectator. No sooner said than done! For three and a half years, he has been a member of a snooker club in Brasov and plays weekly.
But what is his story? What went before competitions, victories and success?
He took dancing classes and played football for 2 years, but he had to quit because school was covering a serious period of his time. Asked if he would do the same thing with snooker, he answered spontaneously: „No way!”.
As every sport, snooker has its own drawbacks: determination and involvement must be present in every move. Therefore, Horia was wistfully telling me what happened when he thought he had to quit: „After two years of continuosly playing, I wanted to give up. I had to take a three months break and then I was negatively shocked to see how much my colleagues have progressed and implicitly how I had fallen behind. It was a disappointing moment: from the best, I had come in the first half. In that moment I thought that either I move on, or I raise the standards. There followed three months of daily training, just me and the coach, and the results have shown: from the 25th place out of 50th, I was included in the first five.”
I was astonished when I discovered with how much joy he was narrating about his favourite players: „Ronnie O’Sulliven, UK. He was the best when I was a little boy and I was drawn by his appealing and offensive style. Even though he withdrew, his return was sprinkled with the 13th break maximum and he mentioned he isn’t going to quit until he breaks Hendry’s record.”
Totally into this captivating sport, the snooker player didn’t try to make me understand the rules, but he explained the activity that started to represent his own person through concepts such as concentration, tenacity and „fight”: „ You have to realise that you’re on your own. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, snooker is a game where you are against yourself. You have to be also persevering when it comes to training and to be aware of the fact that the result can anytime be changed. That is why you don’t have to give up, you have to fight until the last moment.”
His achievements came also into discussion and it was capturing how a teenager can have such impressing results: he is on the third place at county level, he won the Christmas tour and the first prize in the cadets category. „But one of the most significant competitions was for sure my participation at the Europeans. It is a worthy moment to be remembered: I played against a French guy and he had 2-1. I made a tie and then I won in the decisive frame. That is related to what I told you about the power of concentration.” He seemed so sure about what he was saying, like there was no one who could stop him. Horia was undoubtedly proud of his progress and accomplishments.
High school is meant to be the period of time when you define yourself and when you should take into account different targets. But Horia is so sure of his choice that he wants to extand it in the college and, why not, in all his life. „UK is the country that offers you so many possibilites in snooker. If I get to Scotland for college, I will obviously continue with this passion. I hope I will be able to make a carrer. There are big chances!”
I was standing in front of this passionate speaker who wouldn’t stop talking about the desire of not letting go. Couldn’t he be more specific than this? Isn’t this the point when you certainly think you found your way in life? Well, ask Horia, and you will wake up to the reality whenever you have doubts about future, careers or the question „who am I?”. He will make you confident and made you think in a manner you haven’t given a thought until now: „I don’t want to pick my way in life doing what I don’t like! I want to make my dream come true, like Horia did!”