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Ron Atkins OAM
b. 14 April 1937
d. 6 August 2017
Ron Atkins is arguably the best Snooker player ever produced in Tasmania. Despite the loss of his left leg in a shooting accident he was successful at his first attempt at the Tasmanian Snooker Championship and this marked the start of a remarkable career.
With typical doggedness and a natural gift for sport, the young lad turned to snooker as a means of satisfying his natural thirst for competition. Unable to join a club until he was 21, he practised as often as he could. Those long hours paid off, for at his first attempt at the Tasmanian Snooker Championship he was successful and this marked the start of a remarkable career.
He won the Tasmanian Championship on 15 occasions - 14 of these in succession, which is an Australian record. These successes led to state representation and he went on to win the Australian Amateur Snooker Championships on 3 occasions - 1975, 1976 and 1977.
During those 3 years, he won 20 matches in succession - also an Australian record. National selection followed and in 1976 he represented Australia at the World Amateur Snooker Championship in Johannesburg, losing in the quarter finals to the eventual winner Doug Mountjoy.
At the 1980 World Championships in Launceston Ron reached the final losing to Englishman Jimmy White. In 1976 he won the Sportsman's Association Lindy Award as the Tasmanian Sportsman of the year and in 1977 was named the TVT6 Inaugural Tasmanian Sportsman of the year.
Between 1964 and 1987, Ron won all thirty-two state and zone snooker championships he contested. Ron was also involved in the administration of the sport for 28 years including a 10 year period as President of the Tasmanian Billiards and Snooker Association. He also had a term as the National President and Vice Chairman of the International Body.