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The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Games has today announced support from the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), the global governing body for snooker and billiards worldwide. As well as overseeing the professional game through a number of national and international bodies, it is responsible for grassroot development of the sport and has seen significant growth in participation in recent years.
Snooker was played in the International Stoke Mandeville Games, the forerunner to the Paralympics, and there are an estimated 120 million registered players around the globe including an estimated 60 million in Commonwealth Games countries.
On announcing the WPBSA’s support, Group Chairman and MP for Dudley South, Mike Wood MP, said “we are grateful to the WPBSA for their support. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Games is here to support all those involved in Commonwealth Games, and particularly the 2022 Games in Birmingham. Although not a Commonwealth Games sport – yet – the WPBSA and snooker certainly exhibits the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and Members of Parliament are keen to more about the global game of snooker, how it breaks down barriers wherever it is played, and how it is growing participation in the UK, in the Commonwealth, and elsewhere.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson “we’re honoured to join the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Games. Snooker is a truly global game and allows men and women to play alongside and against one another without any barrier. We not only share the Commonwealth Games Federation’s values of humanity, equality and destiny we make sure our sport delivers against them. We do not shy away from playing tournaments in areas with geopolitical and religious unrest and as we see from those who take part, snooker is a sport enjoyed by all. We’re very much looking forward to being a part of this body, and ensuring MPs and Peers see the great work that Snooker does throughout the Commonwealth.”
On Monday 18th March, Members of Parliament and peers launched the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Games.
Launched in the Palace of Westminster and joined by stakeholders involved in the Games, the Group brings together MPs and Peers of all parties to support and promote the Commonwealth Games, and particularly the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It will focus on the necessary regional development for such a large event, as well as the different venues and other essential infrastructure elements that are required. Post-Games, the Group’s attention will focus on the Games’ legacy across the region.
The Group is chaired by Dudley South MP, Mike Wood, who said “Birmingham having been awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games is superb. With the Games’ selection coming late in the day, it is wonderful to see how the Birmingham bid galvanised the region. I am hugely honoured to have been elected Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Commonwealth Games and I and colleagues will do what we can to support the Games, the City and region in creating another fantastic showpiece sporting event for the country.”
Sports Minister Mims Davies MP gave her seal of approval for the Group: “Just like sport, All-Party Parliamentary Groups such as the Commonwealth Games Group transcend party politics and all involved are routing for the same outcome – another fantastic major event on UK soil. I look forward to engaging with Parliamentary colleagues and others to make sure the Games are a great success.”
Chief Executive of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Ian Reid, said: “We welcome today’s launch of the APPG for the Commonwealth Games. We truly appreciate and will certainly benefit from Members of Parliament and Peers from all parties joining forces to support Birmingham 2022 and what we are trying to achieve. My colleagues and I are looking forward to working with the Group in the exciting journey ahead.”