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Isle of Man Festival of Pool 10 March 2008

The world of international 8-ball pool, supported by the Department of Tourism and Leisure and Heron and Brearley, returns to the Isle of Man in September and will take place at the Villa Marina. Five hundred competitors are expected to travel to the Island from all over the British Isles, as well as France.

Organised by Ross McInnes of International Sports Promotions, the event is being billed as the British Open and Isle of Man Festival of Pool and runs from 26 September to 4 October 2008. The return of pool follows the major success of the European Championships, held at the Villa Marina, in October 2005 which brought an estimated 600 people to the Island and also resulted in major television coverage for the Island on Sky Sports.

Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘Mr.McInnes and I were highly delighted with the success of the 2005 championships and we have both been determined international pool will return to the Villa Marina. That wish is now being realised. This is one of those events which brings an exceptional number of people to the Island in the shoulder months of the season, with the obvious benefits for local hotels and the tourism industry generally. However, it also provides an opportunity for Manx players to test themselves against the very best around and improve their own level of performance.’

September’s Festival of Pool starts off with eight separate competitions, under the banner of the British Open. A total of 128 players will take part in the main men’s event and 64 in the women’s competition. Additionally, there are sections for under 21s, youths and juniors as well as players with physical handicaps and learning disabilities. Sixteen others will compete in the wheelchair category.

The team contest gets underway later in the week – five amateur players in a team for the men and three for the women. Sixty-four of the game’s leading players compete for the professional title, while there is also an open singles event, together with a consolation cup, mixed doubles and seniors’ event.

As in 2005 there is expected to be major media interest in the Festival. The internet site Cue Sports has promised extensive coverage which will include the matches themselves, the opening and closing ceremonies and interviews with the players.

Ross McInnes said:

‘The Island offers a whole new concept as there are many things that visitors can do during the tournament. We have arranged the schedule in such a way that there is ample time for sight-seeing as well as socialising. It has to be remembered that many of the players will not have seen each other for possibly a year and the Isle of Man represents a great opportunity to catch up with old friends.’

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