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

 
Werewolf: Katniss Joins The News Team

From the outset, the Hunger Games series has dwelt obsessively on the ways that media images infiltrate our public and personal lives... From that grim starting point, Mockingjay Part One takes the process a few stages further. There is very little of the film that does not involve the characters (a) being on screens (b) making propaganda footage to be screened and (c) reacting to what other characters have been doing on screens. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Ko Witi Te Kaituhituhi

Witi Ihimaera, the distinguished Māori author and the first Māori to publish a book of short stories and a novel, has adopted a new genre with his latest book. But despite its subtitle, this book is a great deal more than a memoir of childhood. More>>

Werewolf: Rescuing Paul Robeson

Would it be any harder these days, for the US government to destroy the career of a famous American entertainer and disappear them from history – purely because of their political beliefs? You would hope so. In 1940, Paul Robeson – a gifted black athlete, singer, film star, Shakespearean actor and orator – was one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. More>>

ALSO:

"Not A Competition... A Quest": Chapman Tripp Theatre Award Winners

Big winners on the night were Equivocation (Promising Newcomer, Best Costume, Best Director and Production of the Year), Kiss the Fish (Best Music Composition, Outstanding New NZ Play and Best Supporting Actress), and Watch (Best Set, Best Sound Design and Outstanding Performance). More>>

ALSO:

Film Awards: The Dark Horse Scores Big

An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach An inspirational film based on real life Gisborne speed-chess coach Genesis Potini, made all the right moves to take out top honours along with five other awards at the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards - nicknamed The Moas. More>>

ALSO:

Theatre: Ralph McCubbin Howell Wins 2014 Bruce Mason Award

The Bruce Mason Playwriting Award was presented to Ralph McCubbin Howell at the Playmarket Accolades in Wellington on 23 November 2014. More>>

ALSO:

One Good Tern: Fairy Tern Crowned NZ Seabird Of The Year

The fairy tern and the Fiji petrel traded the lead in the poll several times. But a late surge saw it come out on top with 1882 votes. The Fiji petrel won 1801 votes, and 563 people voted for the little blue penguin. More>>

Music Awards: Lorde Reigns Supreme

Following a hugely successful year locally and internationally, Lorde has done it again taking out no less than six Tuis at the 49th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news