World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) announced on Monday plans to stage the 2018 Belgian Open – the first WDBS competition to be held outside of the UK.
The landmark event will be staged at The Trickshot, a fully accessible venue that is home to eleven full-size snooker tables and located close to the centre of the historic city of Bruges.
The tournament will run from 23-25 March next year and will be open to players with physical disabilities, including ambulant and wheelchair users (WDBS Classification Groups 1-5).
As with previous WDBS events, there will also be a free Friday open day held for people with any disabilities, with opportunities to practice and receive advice from qualified WPBSA World Snooker coaches.
The WDBS has received support from a number of key personalities involved with snooker in Belgium, including World Snooker referee Olivier Marteel and Kurt Deklerck, who has played wheelchair cuesports for over 40 years and earlier in 2017 won the Belgian National Wheelchair Snooker Championship for an unprecedented 22nd year in a row.
Deklerck is also a four-time world disability snooker champion, winning the event in 1989, twice in 1990 and for a final time in 1994.
“I’m delighted to be part of this event that will be played in Belgium,” said Deklerck.
“The last time an international snooker tournament for disabled people was organised was January 2005.
“For me, it’s an honour to be an example to many other players and I hope they will see that this is a great opportunity to be part of something special.”
More details about how to enter are expected to be released shortly.