Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Gary Oliver sees similarities between billiards and his job

Gary Oliver sees similarities between billiards and his job.

Oliver is responsible for insurance issues at the University of Canterbury and in his spare time he is preparing to defend his New Zealand billiards title in Auckland in July.

Oliver is king of the long table in New Zealand consecutively winning the last 11 national titles and he adopts a similar ethos to his job as he does to his sport.

``Billiards is methodical and one needs to think three or four shots in advance, a lot like chess players. My position here at the University of Canterbury is similar, in that I’m responsible for ensuring policy and procedures are followed methodically too,’’ the university account services manager says.

``I know I’m never going to be a world champion and I have never dreamed of becoming one. I only ever wanted to one win the New Zealand championships just once. I never thought I would be on the run I’m on at the moment. But enjoyment is my main motivator.’’

Oliver holds the New Zealand record break of 303 which took about 25 minutes, which is twice as slow as the world’s best who regularly clock over a century break in just over four minutes. Oliver brought up a century break in four minutes 20 seconds at the national championships last year.

Dave Meredith, also from Christchurch, won a record 15 New Zealand titles, though not in a row. Oliver is closing in and putting Meredith’s record under serious threat.

``It would be cool to beat Dave Meredith’s record but it is not my driving force to play. The game is just a great balance with my university work. I have been to six world championships and qualified for the top 16 three times with 12th in the world my best result.

``I am still getting over shoulder surgery from last July but hope to be pain-free when the nationals start in July. I am practising at home on a Watts and Burrough table, dated 1896, with tight pockets like those in the world championships.

``I am practising every night for about three hours and more at the weekends. To win a national title you need to play for about 28 hours which along with refereeing duties on top can be quite strenuous. I walk a lot to keep fit and do stretching exercises for my back to cater for all the bending and stretching required for each shot.

``During the June 2011 earthquake I happened to be home for the aftershock and saw the lights over my billiard table swinging from the ceiling over the table. I was stupid enough to dive on the table to protect it. Thank goodness they didn’t unhook at the time, they would have hurt like hell if they had come down on me. The things we do.

`` l absolutely love the sport. I’m also a master coach for the International body and three students from around the country have come to the University of Canterbury because I give free coaching.’’

``It is exciting being at the university as we grow and head on a pathway of recovery following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. We’ve had challenges so it is great to see real progress with growth in first year and international students,’’ Oliver says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

“Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>

ALSO:

Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Culture
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news