Leeds & West Yorkshire

Rebecca Kenna quits snooker league over 'men-only' rule

Rebecca Kenna Image copyright Matt Huart
Image caption Rebecca Kenna is ranked third in the World Women's Snooker rankings

A snooker player says she has been forced to turn her back on her local league after being barred from matches because she is a woman.

Rebecca Kenna felt "abandoned" after being stopped from playing in two fixtures due to some clubs in Keighley operating a "men-only" policy.

Mrs Kenna, 30, who is ranked third in the World Women's Snooker rankings, wants to see the rule scrapped.

The league said "there's nothing we can do to overturn the decisions".

Mrs Kenna, who spoke to the BBC's One Show, said: "To be told you can't play the sport you love because of your gender is ridiculous and it's quite upsetting.

"When we were playing [these teams] I would just have to stay at home."

She said she had approached the organising committee of the Crosshills And District Snooker League asking it to step in.

"I think we should make it so these 'men-only' clubs are not allowed into the league if they are not going to let women play," she added.

Image copyright Matt Huart
Image caption Both Rebecca Kenna (left) and Reanne Evans said they had been barred from matches for being female

Mrs Kenna said Keighley was not the only place in the UK where women struggle to compete equally.

Reanne Evans, 11-times women's world snooker champion, told BBC Radio 4 in February she had previously been refused entry to a snooker hall for the same reason.

"There are others on the women's tour who are not even allowed in to their local league," Mrs Kenna said.

"Others have said this was what happened in the 80s and 90s but not any more. I think it's time Keighley moved with the times."

Snooker league committee member Alan Speak said: "If we lose two of these clubs [with the men-only policies] we would lose four teams and we can't afford to lose four teams otherwise we would have no league."

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