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Eva Vidding Bussel: new face, fresh ideas in CEB

Posted by on May 14, 2022

Eva Vidding Bussel: new face, fresh ideas in CEB

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Eva Vidding, the new CEB board member for youth and ladies billiards in Europe

ZOERSEL - The European billiard federation has been led for several years by its president Diane Wild from Switzerland and now a Swedish lady is getting an important position on the board. Eva Vidding Bussel started on the 1st of April as the person responsible for youth billiards and ladies within the CEB. The mission is clear: to give a new impetus to the growth and development of talent in both disciplines. These days, she is in the midst of the ladies' top at the European Championships in Zoersel, Belgium. Eva Viding sounds very enthusiastic: ''The atmosphere is great, players all know each other and organizers have put in a lot of effort into rebuilding the billiards hall and make the environment the absolute best for the European tournament. Very impressive.''

Who is Eva Vidding Bussel, Did Schintgen's successor on the European billiards board?
''I am 48 years of age, born in Stockholm, Sweden and I now live in Uppsala, close to Stockholm. I am married and have a bonus daughter who lives with us every other week. My profession at the moment is project manager at the Swedish Billiard Federation where I work with projects for communication and education, for example coaching courses, school projects and live streaming. I also have my bachelor's degree in linguistics.''

Kozoom spoke with her in the days of the European Championships for a closer look and talked about her new ideas and plans for the future.

Kozoom/Frits Bakker: When did you first come into contact with billiards, as a player or organizer? And what fascinated you in this sport?
Eva Vidding Bussell: I started playing pool billiards when I was 15, at school and at the local youth club. At first, it was just for fun, but I soon fell in love with the game. I found it fascinating that you could decide where to send the ball, and it took so little to get it all wrong. Then I found a pool hall in Stockholm where I soon became a regular. From then on, I have spent the last 30 years in the club as a volunteer, board member, chairman and so on, in parallel with my own game.

Kozoom/FB: And when did carom come into your life?
Eva Vidding: Bussell: Oh, that's a fairly new phase in my life. I have played it a few times of course, but only for fun and never in a competition. For the last five years (2017-2022), I have also been president of the Swedish Billiard Association and of course carom was a part of that. When I announced that I was stepping down as president, I was approached by the CEB. They asked me if I would be interested in taking on the role of youth director. Of course, I had to think about that for a while, but in the end I saw it as a challenge I could not resist. I realise that there are both good and bad sides to the fact that I don't know carom very well, but there are many similarities between the three disciplines when it comes to youth and women, so I hope it will be an advantage.

Kozoom/FB: What was your first impression of the European Three-cushion Championship this weekend? With this number of participants and big differences in quality?
Eva Vidding: We have already discussed about it: for example, do you want to promote a lot of players or mainly the best players? The more players you have, the better the inspiration (hopefully) for other women who want to play a European Championship one day. But more players does not automatically mean better players. So there is always a risk that you fill up the field of participants, just because you want to invite a full field of players. It's a balance without an obvious solution, but definitely something I will look at together with the women and the federations.

Kozoom/FB: How do you want to inspire more young ladies and also boys to start and build a career in billiards? For example, there is only one lady in her twenties at this European Championship.
Eva Vidding: Yes, that is the big question... I think the solution is not one thing, but many small things together. How do we make carom more visible to young people, how do we 'package and sell' carom to make it more attractive, how do we present and talk about female players both outside and inside the billiard world. But also: how to use social media and the fast moving world of internet to promote the sport to young people. What kind of support and opportunities to play do they get from the national federations, what international opportunities do they have, and so on.

Kozoom/FB: So many questions that come up at this still early start as a new director.
Eva Vidding: Actually, it's a mosaic of many different initiatives where the CEB is just one factor, obviously a big one, but in the long run it's the federations and local clubs that have to do the ground work. It is the CEB's job to help them do that and to provide them with tournaments and other incentives that they can promote to their female and young players. It will be very exciting to work out a strategy for this.

Kozoom/FB: You started on the 1st of April, so it is still very early to know and analyse the world of ladies' and juniors' three cushion. Nevertheless, a mission already comes through in your reactions. Do you already have your first concrete plans and strategy in mind?
Eva Vidding: Yes, my plan for the rest of this year is to get to know the players and the federations better, as well as the youth commission. I want to know what the federations are doing or not doing today for youth and women players, so that I can get a better understanding of the current situation. I also want to bring the federations into contact with each other, so that they can exchange best practices and be inspired by the other countries. But I need a starting point, with feedback and ideas from players and federations. Only then can I outline the strategy for the coming years.

Kozoom/FB: It's going to be a tough job in these difficult times for women's billiards and youth.
Eva Vidding: Absolutely, it will be hard work with a long perspective. But that makes it even more important to have a strategy, so you know what your weaknesses are and how to attack them.

Kozoom/FB: Did you speak with Therese Klompenhouwer at this European Championship, who has her very own vision and striking views?
Eva Vidding: Yes, we had a good conversation on the first day of the European Championship. She is a great ambassador for our sport and has many good points. Unfortunately, she is only one person and she cannot carry the whole sport by herself. She also has to do what is best for her career. But I am looking forward to working with her and I hope good things will come from it.

Kozoom/FB: What are your next objects or events to visit and get to know this world better?
Eva Vidding: Soon, in September, I will be at the World Junior and Women's Championships in the Netherlands. Before that, I will gather as much information as possible from the Youth Commission and also from the federations about how they work now. And I hope that during the World Championships there will be an opportunity to follow up on that and take the next steps.

Thank you Eva for the interview, we wish you good luck in your new position.

 

 

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