Snooker Gets Its Own All Party Parliamentary Support Group

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The World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association (WPBSA) under its chairman Jason Ferguson met a group of MPs this week to discuss the future of UK snooker and to celebrate the contribution the sport has made to UK society.

The result of the meeting was the formation of an all party parliamentary group of MPs who will meet regularly in the year to discuss and highlight the achievements of snooker’s important contribution it makes to society, as well as providing findings on how to grow the grassroots of the sport in the UK.

The group will be chaired by Tory MP Conor Burns for Bournemouth west and five other Vice chairs from different political parties.

Snooker has made a significant contribution to UK society over the years, particularly in areas of deprivation and has also entertained the nation in its flagship events such as the World Championship hosted in the home of the sport itself, Sheffield – an area that has been regenerated in recent times. Last year the World Championship played host to a magnificent final between two Legends of the game, still competing at the top well into their forties! John Higgins and Mark Williams (see pic)

The meeting comes a few days before snooker gets its big moment in January on the calendar with The Masters in London, (starting Sunday 13th January) an event that draws tourism revenue and fans from all over the globe to see snooker’s top 16 stars shine on the baize and hopefully inspire future generations to take up their time on the green baize from all over the world.

Jason Ferguson, WPBSA Chairman said “I am delighted that an All-Party Parliamentary Group has been launched for snooker and thank all those Members of Parliament and Peers who have already joined.
“The World Snooker Tour continues to grow, with a number of major events across the United Kingdom providing inspiration for the next generation of young players.
“We hope that by widening opportunities to take part in our game, we can increase participation among people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds, and look forward to working with the All-Party Group to achieve this.”

WPBSA website

Not only is there a significant contribution from snooker’s flagship events such as the Worlds and the Masters and the UK Championship, snooker is also growing a wide variety of other events with the World Women’s Snooker tour growing in stature, the World Disability Snooker tour becoming popular and also the World Seniors events which saw only last weekend, Jimmy White showcase the brilliance of amateurs over 40 from across the five countries of the United Kingdom.

Speaking after the launch in Parliament, Group Chair and Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West, Conor Burns MP, said “snooker is a fantastic sport that delivers significant economic and social benefits in constituencies throughout the United Kingdom, both through snooker clubs and major events.

“The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Snooker has been established to support the further development of the sport, and I am delighted that so many colleagues have already joined the Group.
“We look forward to supporting the sport on specific issues over the coming year and beyond, but also to promoting the good work that snooker does to government, policymakers, and more broadly across the country.”

From WPBSA website

Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!