A SNOOKER club is paving the way for sports stars of the future.

Despite only starting a year ago, Brighton Castle Juniors has seen its popularity soar.

Founder Kai Michael said: “I have been playing snooker all my life, but there just didn’t seem to be any young people playing the sport in Brighton.”

So the 33-year-old decided to take it upon himself to offer children in the area the opportunity to take up the sport, setting up a weekly club at the Castle Snooker Club in Castle Street, Brighton.

Kai said many people doubted he would be successful.

Kai said: “In other areas they get up to 50 kids at their clubs. But when I do it on a Saturday morning, a lot of kids are playing football.”

Despite this, one year on, the club now welcomes more than 20 to its weekend sessions and has a 1,000 strong following on social media.

Kai said: “I did lots of advertising and getting on Facebook definitely helped and the group has really grown. The kids turned up from all different age groups and none of them knew each other, but now they are all friends. It’s brilliant.

“The club has literally taken over my life, every day I’m doing something towards it.”

There is only one criteria to join.

“As long as you can hold a cue, you can come along,” Kai said.

He has taken teams to a series of competitions as well as organising his own.

Kai, who is a WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association) coach, gave special mention to one of his members.

Saltdean resident Arthur McCahill has recently picked up two trophies and two league titles.

Kai said: “He is nine years old and I definitely have high hopes for him.

“You can see he has a bit about him.”

Kai said he was contacted by World Snooker, organisers of the sport’s leading competitions, and representatives praised the club’s impressive progress.

The organisation also gave him and his teams tickets to visit the K2 in Crawley to see a series of professional games.

Kai said: “They absolutely loved it, a lot of them had not seen anything like it before. It’s great for them to be able to come together and do something they might not have been able to otherwise.