Snooker Shoot Out: Reanne Evans and Emma Parker ready for 'massive opportunity'

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Reanne Evans tells BBC Radio 4 discrimination still exists in some snooker halls

Two female players are ready to make history as the first women to compete on television in the final stages of a world ranking event in the UK.

Reanne Evans has been helped out by her daughter as she prepares to take on the six-time world championship runner-up Jimmy White at the Snooker Shoot Out.

And Emma Parker has been assisted by her mother before her match.

"It's a good opportunity to promote women's snooker," Evans, the 11-time women's world champion, told BBC Sport.

The 33-year-old faces White late on Thursday, while Parker, 19, takes on India's Laxman Rawat on Friday in the quick-fire tournament, which has a first prize of £32,000.

"The only way young girls are going to play snooker is they see other women and juniors doing it," said Evans, who was two wins from becoming the first woman to play at the Crucible in the 2017 World Championship.

Matches in the Snooker Shoot Out are one frame only up to the final, and last a maximum of 10 minutes with a shot clock in operation - 15 seconds for the first five minutes and 10 seconds for the last five.

Reanne Evans and Jimmy White
Evans is friends with snooker legend Jimmy White

Evans expects a boisterous atmosphere at the Watford Colosseum, with her match broadcast on Eurosport the last of the evening and not scheduled to start before 22:30 GMT.

"I've grown up playing in pubs with my brothers and friends. I'm hoping the crowd won't put me off," said Evans, who did not let a recent virus stop her winning the women's Belgian Open title.

"My daughter's phone is never out of her hand and she has been timing my shots in practice.

"It's good to be part of something different. We can play, so it's a case of who's best on the day. It's going to be nerve-wracking but I'm looking forward to it."

'I would love snooker to be my career'

Emma Parker
Emma Parker plays India's Laxman Rawat in her first-round match at the Snooker Shoot Out on Friday

Fellow World Women's Tour player Parker has also been invited to the 128-strong event for the first time.

She said: "It is a massive opportunity for myself and Reanne to play on television. Hopefully we can win matches. I would love snooker to be my career, I just have to take it step by step."

Parker, a former women's world under-21 champion from Essex, is one of eight wildcards in the tournament, which will be staged in from Thursday until Sunday.

"I have been practising with a shot clock; my mum has been counting down the seconds for me," said Parker.

"It's not easy. You have to see the shot quickly and then play it.

"I will be nervous on Friday but hopefully I can put that to one side and play well."

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