When you think of corporate team-building events, you imagine employees packing their knapsacks and travelling to places such as Devon in the UK for a spot of bonding doing rock climbing or abseiling for the week.

However, a sports coach/referee has an innovative idea to promote the benefits playing snooker can provide to corporate employees in using team-building exercises on a 12ft by 6ft full-size table.

John Twist is the founder of Snooker Builder, a corporate team-building business using snooker, where employees can not only learn how to communicate better as a team in their work place but also learn to play the game through fun activities and coaching.

Twist, 58, has the venture based in Widnes at the Halton Community Snooker Academy, and, since it was set up, he has had success with companies already enquiring about the initiative.

When I interviewed Twist via email, he said: "I have only recently put Snooker Builder together, but since I have, I've had about 10 businesses express interest which I am really pleased about. I hope to be up and running in October/November with it. I have publicised it around the UK."

He added: "The team-building courses consist of exercises such as Speed snooker/Relay Snooker/60 Second Challenge/10 Red Snooker/Spider Challenge."

The Spider Challenge

One such challenge is the Spider Challenge which sounds an easy task on paper, but is certainly not in practice.

It consists of putting the Spider implement over the pink spot, and the cue ball on the brown spot. The object of the task is to run the cue ball up and down the spots making sure the cue ball goes through the area hole of the Spider and back straight.

Twist added: "As you know, business is about competition and so is with Snooker Builder, but in a fun and friendly atmosphere it brings colleagues closer together and each person is given professional coaching but the competition is still there as there are trophies up for grabs and you know yourself winning is a great feeling, and there is always wine and a buffet!"

He added: "I went down the corporate road because there wasn't anything in this area which covered snooker."

Top pro players Ricky Walden and Andrew Higginson and referees Michaela Tabb and Jan Verhaas also support the Academy and attend annual presentation nights for the local league at the Academy.

Snooker and Transferable Skills

Four transferable skills that businesses and indeed anyone can use outside of the game include:

1) Maintaining focus and concentration when dealing with a task in hand

2) Respecting yourself and your opponent in competition.

3) Firm but fair competitiveness in the work place

4) Determination and desire to achieve great results through hard work, desire and good coaching/mentoring.

Although the business is based in Widnes, he said the company can travel to other parts of the UK if required where there are four snooker tables or more.

Twist got into snooker at the age of 13, and in his adult life worked through the ranks and has ended up refereeing some of the biggest names in the game.

Want to improve your play? Watch top snooker coach Barry Stark's latest video on potting, below...