WPBSA Chief eyes cue sports for 2024 Olympics

"The fact that we were involved in the conduct of last World Games along with the IOC can be deemed as a big step towards realising that goal," says WPBSA chief, Jason Ferguson, as he remains optimistic about cue sports featuring in the 2024 Olympics.

James Ferguson: "I think the six-red snooker will get the first preference to be included in Olympics because of its popularity and the scope for mixed gender participation."   -  Special Arrangement

"Cue sports inclusion in the Olympics is a project very close to my heart. We made a serious bid for 2020 also. The fact that we were involved in the conduct of last World Games along with the IOC can be deemed as a big step towards realising that goal," says Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).  

"We are trying to bring more Federations under one organisation across the world for a more forceful bid for the Olympics. As things stand, I am optimistic of a positive response for the 2024 edition," he said in a chat on the sidelines of the just-concluded Indian Open. 

"And, quite frankly, I think the six-red snooker will get the first preference to be included in Olympics because of its popularity and the scope for mixed gender participation ," the WPBSA chief said.  

"Once that happens, it will be a game-changer as the national Governments will be funding the sport in a bigger way than now. Being in Olympics also means more players, coaches and academies too," he said.  

The recently concluded first edition of Cue Slam League held in India, Mr. Jason felt, was another innovative concept. "You can't just rely on the traditional formats. Have to keep changing with changing times. And we are glad that India has so many leagues in different disciplines and has been successful with the CSL too," he said. 

Indian Open is a huge success story despite being hosted in different cities across the country, the WPBSA chairman felt.  

Mr. Jason complimented the BSFI team headed by its chief Capt. P.V.K. Mohan for doing a wonderful job. "It is so well organised that the WPBSA team had little to do and was just relaxing right through the event," he said.  

"We are not just looking at hosting big events but also building Academies, involving schools like back in England where (we) have already initiated a project in coordination with Star company which manufactures the tables. The whole idea is to see that the sport is easily accessible for the younger lot," he concluded.