The World Disability Snooker showcase has returned to Sheffield after being forced online because of the coronavirus pandemic ©WDBS

Snooker has been celebrating the return of World Disability Snooker Day to the World Championship in Sheffield.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the event online over the last two years.

This year, players have been taking part in a display at the Cue Zone in the Sheffield Winter Garden, an area visited by spectators watching World Snooker Championship play at the English's city Crucible Theatre.

The event has been jointly organised by the World Snooker Tour (WST) and World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS), an organisation which aims to encourage those with disabilities to play cue sports competitively.

World Snooker President Barry Hearn was among those to visit the display.

Players performed at Sheffield's Cue Zone as part of the World Disability Snooker Day ©WDBS
Players performed at Sheffield's Cue Zone as part of the World Disability Snooker Day ©WDBS

Shaun Murphy, world champion in 2005, has become a WDBS ambassador along with World Championship master of ceremonies Rob Walker.

"It is great to be able to showcase disability snooker at the World Championships," WDBS Board member Mickey Chambers told the BBC.

"Everyone is watching the World Championships, it is showcased around the world, not everyone knows about disability snooker."

Events have been staged around Europe since 2015 and organisers are trying to re-establish the circuit to its pre-pandemic level.

Players are subject to the same strict dress codes as those enforced the World Championship.

"We are trying to showcase that snooker is a very inclusive sport and we know that there is a demand out there to play," WDBS director Bob Hill told the BBC.

Disability snooker had been included in the Stoke Mandeville Games in 1951 and was included in the Paralympics from 1960 to 1988.

"We would eventually like to bring snooker back into the Paralympics but we also want to look at grassroots opportunities, not just us running events but how we can support people to just pick up a cue in the first place at club level and take part in snooker," Hill said.