World Snooker Tour will join forces with India Business Group (IBG) next week to celebrate the 145th anniversary of the birth of snooker.
The game of snooker was invented in 1875 in Jabalpur, India and has since grown into a major international sport, with a global television audience of 500 million.
WST and India Business Group will be reflecting on snooker’s origins and its current popularity in India, during a special week of celebration from 11 May to 15 May 2020.
The week will include a wide range of ‘Snooker: ‘Made in India’ content on WST’s digital channels each day, including videos of classic matches and interviews with current and past Indian players.
WST’s Commercial Director Miles Pearce said: “We have a rich history in India, in terms of the origins of our sport, successful Indian players and tournaments we have staged in the country. Most importantly, the Indian fans seem to have a passion for snooker which is unique across the world. We can see that in the number of followers in India we have on our social media channels and our online broadcasts”.
“Now is the perfect time to explore the relationship between India, snooker and the fans. Throughout the world people are facing challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Sport can bring people together and inspire them in these difficult times. We need to show solidary and come together to overcome these challenges and work towards a brighter future”.
“In recent years we have staged several major professional tournaments in India. We have made many friends throughout the country and created key partnerships. We believe there is much more potential for snooker in India. Marking the 145th anniversary of snooker’s birth is a step along the way to building momentum and bringing our sport to a new generation of fans.”
Based in the UK, with teams of specialist consultants and researchers across India, IBG provide expertise, connections and cultural awareness to help organisations reach new markets and form successful global collaborations.
The chair of IBG, Lord Patel of Bradford OBE said: "We're in truly uncharted waters when it comes to our health globally. India has been pivotal in everything we do at IBG and my sincere thoughts and best wishes go to all the people in India”.
"What this pandemic has shown us is that we need to seize every moment we can and share our time, our memories and our joy with our friends, family and loved ones. What WST is doing enables us to do just that. We can use technology to meet virtually and watch all those glorious moments, truly getting excited, reliving wonderful memories of triumphant moments”.
“I am humbled and proud to be associated with this initiative because, as someone who champions mental well-being, I know just taking a few moments, an hour a day to forget about the challenges we're currently facing, will strengthen our resilience and resolve”.
"This pandemic will pass, and I know millions of you will be filling the snooker halls once again, by marking this special 145th birth anniversary of snooker, we hope will encourage the appetite, not only for Indian players, but also players from across the globe."
Follow WST’s website and social media channels through the week commencing May 11th for a range of content.