UK amateur Snooker is in a poor state at the moment and needs a pick me up.

The new Challenge Tour to be introduced is a start, but much more needs to be done at real grassroots level here.

But so too, according to Chris Christofi, Australian snooker is also in need of a pick me up and so far, he is one of a few working hard to try and make the game in Oz great again.

The Melbourne businessman, who runs an investment and financial services company, Reventon, is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the sport in Oz and creating his own take on the Triple Crown events they have on the World pro circuit.

But he is only one Man and needs to find a great team behind him to help build a better game in Oz.

As a snooker fan and player since 14, he is now involved in Reventon Snooker Academy in Melbourne, one of the finest in the country where many of the major events are held, and has even named one of the Star Tables in a private room after his good friend the 2010 World Snooker Champion Neil Robertson.

Christofi said in an email Q&A: "Snooker in Australia is not in a good state at all. There needs to be a number of changes within the sport to make it successful. New people with fresh ideas need to get involved. Big sponsors and promoters are needed as well as junior development programs are vital to ensure our sport thrives."

Ironically, this is something that the UK could do with as Ronnie O'Sullivan on Eurosport has been saying how he benefited in his youth from a vibrant young amateur circuit week in week out before he turned pro in 1992.

A vibrant young amateur circuit also means more clubs are needed and more grassroots competitions at grassroots level.

Christofi added: "As with everything it can only be achieved through a collaborative effort. We need less talking and more action. The right people doing the right jobs at the right time."

A New Era Awaits

But among the doom and gloom, is hope,

Christofi has ambitious plans and said: "My goal is to take the sport to another level and create a new era of snooker.

I am calling it the Reventon/Robertson era. I plan on making it the biggest era in Australian snooker history."

He added: "Snooker is booming around the world, particularly Asia, why not Australia?"

Already his plans have included the Reventon Triple Crown events which include over $40,000 Aussie Dollars in first prize winnings.

The Reventon Classic carries a $10,000 first prize.The two others carry a first prize of $15,000 each for the Reventon Masters and the Reventon International Snooker event.

He added: "My goal is to increase the prize money every year which to date, Reventon has managed to achieve."

From the Australian Snooker and Billiards Council press release, anyone who wins all three events in a calendar year wins a $10,000 bonus. There's also a $5,000 bonus for a 147.

When I suggested that Christofi was a kind of Australian Barry Hearn, he was "honoured."

He added: "He is a great businessman and has done and continues to do so much for the sport snooker, as he does with darts and boxing."

Christofi, however, said the difference was that he was not in the sport for business purposes.

"Our difference is I am not in snooker for business purposes, I am in it for my love of the sport and my contribution is to see the sport excel."

Snooker Community to Give Back

Reventon also has Match play leagues which Christofi hopes to expand in the near future. These have also supported local players since 2010 with title sponsorships.

As well as the new Triple Crown events, Reventon are major sponsors of National Billiards and the National Snooker title and has been pumping thousands of dollars for around 7 years.

Christofi has also aligned the snooker community to a White Ribbon charity which campaigns against domestic violence against women, (something he is proud of).

The money raised by the charity will be matched dollar by dollar by the business Reventon.

"I feel it is important for the snooker community and Reventon to give back," he said.

The businessman admits however, that in today's era of snooker the players are not coming through as quickly.

He said; "We don't have much depth at all looking at the number of juniors coming through and the current standard is much lower compared to when I was a junior with Neil Robertson. There were many great players."

So far on the World Professional Tour, there are three Australians.

Neil Robertson, of course, is in the top 16. Kurt Dunham and Matthew Bolton are tour rookies but good players in their own right.

A Painful Tale

Snooker is not particularly an energetic game, but Christofi recounts a quirky tale, one of many, which goes like this:

"One of the funniest many years ago was we were all playing snooker at the Brunswick and one of my close friends played a shot on the table next to where I was playing and he stretched to reach a shot and put one leg on the table and yelled in pain because he had pulled a hamstring!

We were all in stitches laughing. I said how can you pull a hamstring playing snooker? How unfit are you? You had to have been there to really appreciate."

The first Reventon Triple Crown event takes place in May between the 4 - 6th, with the second and third events later on in the year in December.

The final event is a Masters event and is limited to 12 players.

See the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council website for more details.