National pairs tournament to be held at RSA

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The Gore RSA waited for its new snooker room and a year after its completion, the renovation has certainly paid off.

The RSA has been accepted as the venue for a national snooker pairs tournament to be held in September next year.

RSA tournament convener Evan Fricker said once the new room was ready, the RSA applied to host the tournament.

“We applied two months ago at the AGM meeting in Wellington. We put our case forward for the Gore tour and won the vote 4-3.

“The extension really gave us the ability to finally apply to host the tournament,” he said.

The Gore Town and Country Club had hosted a national snooker singles tournament before but never the pairs.

“The tournament has never been played south of Christchurch, so it’s new territory.”

The tournament would have multiple benefits for the community, Fricker said.

“We will have some of the top New Zealand snooker players here, as well as the players here will have the opportunity to play in the big tournament without having to travel so far.

“We are excited about it. It should bring some extra revenue to town – we have already booked accommodation for it.”

He was still unsure of numbers at the tournament, but the sport was strong in the region.

“I am hoping on a field of about 40 pairs .. There is a lot of strength in snooker in Southland and Otago, so I think the turnout will be good.”

RSA manager Steve Brinsdon said the extension to the building had been in the pipeline for “years and years and years” when he took up the job.

“The plan was for double-storey, but that changed .. Low interest rates made it more viable for us to do,” he said.

“It was finished last year in September and ever since it has been used quite a lot. We used it for the regional snooker tournament and everybody said it was great.”

Initial planning for the national pairs tournament would now start to “get things cracking”, he said.