THE FIRST ever Ladies Day is to be held at the Crucible in a bid to get more women involved in snooker.
Hosted by World Snooker and the WPBSA, the event will take place on Friday (April 26) on the seventh day of the Betfair World Championship.
The day will provide free coaching for women in CueZone in the Winter Garden by Katie Henrick and nine-time World Ladies Champion Reanne Evans. World Snooker will also be running online campaigns and a competition with the chance to win tickets.
Charity will also be the name of the day with the aim to raise money for World Snooker’s official charity Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
There will be a ‘purple’ theme – using the colour of Bluebell Wood’s logo – with well known snooker personalities such as Michaela Tabb to wear purple and all fans are encouraged to do the same.
World Snooker will also be running online campaigns to support the day including a competition with the chance to win tickets.
Jason Ferguson, WPBSA chairman, said it was an imperative of theirs to get more women involved in the sport.
“We’re very keen to get more women involved with snooker, and that’s why we decided to stage Ladies Day during the World Championship for the first time,” he said.
“”Hopefully Ladies Day will capture the imagination of women and encourage them to get involved in snooker, get down to their local club, get some coaching and improve their game.
“Anyone can play on the World Snooker tour, regardless of age, nationality or gender. There have been some excellent lady players over the years, such as Reanne Evans, and we would love to see more ladies take our sport up.
“There’s no reason why women can’t succeed in snooker, it’s purely a matter of getting more women participating in the sport at grass roots level, and through the WPBSA’s sports development plan and the introduction of ‘Cue Zone in Schools’ we expect to see a significant increase in interest.
“We have some very successful female referees including Michaela Tabb and Zhu Ying, with others coming through in Europe. That’s another avenue where anyone with a passion for snooker has a career opportunity.”
But Mark Jones, who is father of World Ladies Junior champion Hannah Jones and whom promotes women’s snooker throughout the UK, said the event would be better if it was scheduled on a weekend.
“This is a good idea,” he said. “But wouldn’t it have been better to run it in a weekend when kids are off school. You could get more youngsters attending and tie it in with advertising in schools so that mums and kids can see it.
“Apart from that I hope the event goes well and the BBC promote it nationally. More ladies playing please!”