The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has registered as a supporting partner of This Girl Can, a campaign which aims to get more women active and playing sport.
This Girl Can is a national campaign, developed by Sport England and delivered in partnership with a wide range of organisations, to raise awareness among women that whatever our size, ability or previous experience, sport can be a fun and enjoyable part of our lives.
In recent years the WPBSA has been active in encouraging more women to get involved with snooker – a sport which can be played at every level regardless of age or gender.
In 2013, snooker’s global governing body launched the Cue Zone Into Schools programme, designed to encourage school children – boys and girls – to get involved in the sport using a game called Functional Snooker, which also develops Mathematics and social skills. The programme has been rolled out to 36 schools across England introducing snooker to a wider audience of children.
The WPBSA has also introduced Ladies Day during the World Championship, offering free coaching and encouragement to women. And on the World Snooker Tour, tournaments in Europe have given opportunity for the best amateurs, including many women, to compete.
Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA, said: “There are not enough women playing snooker, that much is obvious. Some women might feel nervous about going into their local snooker club because it has traditionally been a male-dominated sport. That is something we have taken steps to address, and we commend the intentions of the This Girl Can campaign to encourage women to get involved in any sport.
“Through our Cue Zone Into Schools programme we are tackling this at grass roots level and we hope in the future there will be enough women playing snooker to change the landscape of the sport.
“We are also establishing networks of coaches throughout the UK and overseas to ensure that everyone has the chance to develop their skills if they want to.
“Ladies Day in Sheffield has been very successful in the past two years, and we are looking at other ways we can support the current World Ladies Tour.
“Snooker is one of the very few sports where women and men can compete together. There are plenty of opportunities on the thriving World Snooker Tour now, and there is no reason why we couldn’t have men and women competing in the final of future World Championships. The talent is out there, and if we nurture it in the right way then one day that could become reality.”
For more about This Girl Can see www.thisgirlcan.co.uk