FIJI School of Medicine lecturer Praveen Maharaj was elected as the new president of the Billiards and Snooker Association of Fiji during the annual general meeting at the Lautoka Club yesterday.
Maharaj stepped down from his secretary/treasurer post to contest Carz & Carz managing director Riffat Bhatti for the top job.
Bhatti took over the president's position from Philip Gock last year after he resigned because of his ailing health.
A total of 20 clubs were represented in the meeting. Two delegates from each club voted during the elections.
Maharaj polled 23 votes while Bhatti received 17 votes.
Bhatti, whose company has been sponsoring many tournaments in recent years, said the new executives should seriously pursue his vision to build an academy in the country.
"I will continue supporting the sport," he said.
The financial report was not presented during the meeting. The delegates passed that the report should be tabled at a special AGM within three months. The positions of the secretary and the treasurer were separated.
Maharaj said it was a close battle during the elections.
He said they would be seeking the support of the Fiji Sports Commission to help in the development of the sport.
"Some of the committee members are new but they have passion for the sport," Maharaj said.
"There is a plan to build a snooker academy. We should achieve this in the next three years. Our participation in the Oceania Championship has been ongoing. We will send a team to Australia for the Oceania Championship this year.
"The aim is to stage more tournaments. We want to spread it around the country so that all the clubs are involved. The Northern Division will not be neglected."
The following executives will serve the Billiards and Snooker Association of Fiji for the next three years:
Patron: Husmukh Chauhan; Vice patrons: Mohan Lal, Kumaran Nair; Vice presidents: Mohammed Shameem, Rimal Narayan, Ravi Narayan; Secretary: Praneel Singh;
Treasurer: Rohit Nand; Committee members: Suresh Chauhan, Raymond Reddy, Mahend Deo, Rocky Ali, Ravi Naidu, Francis Ram, Donald Mani, Esala Talebula.