Trump calls for greater diversity in snooker after Welsh Open win

Judd Trump says he wants snooker to be as inclusive a sport as possible.

The world No.1 and reigning world champion safely navigated his way into the third round at the ManBetX Welsh Open on Wednesday, easing past Billy Castle 4-0 after classy breaks of 121, 71 and 67.

But the sport in which he reigns supreme still suffers from a paucity of black British players, with none in the world’s top 100 and the elite levels of the game being dominated by those from white backgrounds.

And the Bristol potter says he wants that to change, hailing World Snooker for their pre-existing efforts to promote the game for all.

“I’m not sure what goes on in club these days at grassroots level, but I think the game is picking up and World Snooker is doing a lot to promote the game in this country and build it back up again,” he said.

“We’re seeing a few players from Europe coming through now, and I want the game to be as worldwide as possible and for every ethnicity in every country to be playing.

“That would be amazing for the sport, and hopefully one day we’ll really be able to class ourselves as a real worldwide sport.

“I think there probably is diversity in snooker but it’s hard to reach the top level, and it’s just the people that are really dedicated.”

Trump has enjoyed a stellar season on the professional circuit from a personal perspective, lifting no fewer than four ranking event trophies and now vying for glory at the final Home Nations event of the season.

The 30-year-old triumphed at the German Masters at the beginning of this month, but has recently been forced to watch world No.2 Neil Robertson conquer at the International Masters and Coral World Grand Prix after a searing run of form from the Thunder from Down Under.

And as they continue their pursuit of major trophies heading into the back end of the season, Trump says he thrives of the rivalry between the two stars.

“I love watching other players do well, especially if I’m doing well myself, and it gives me something to aim at,” he added.

“When you see him doing so well and he’s getting all the credit, you watch on TV and you think ‘I want a bit of that as well,” and he probably feels invincible at the minute.

“Seeing him doing what he’s doing spurs me on to get practice in again, and I want to compete with what he’s doing and get that sort of success.

“It’s always good to have someone to compete with, and Neil is doing brilliantly well at the moment.”

Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds