|Recognised by Sport England as the Governing Body for Pool in England|
The English Pool Association (EPA) and the Ultimate Pool Group (UPG) are delighted to formally announce a crucial partnership which will benefit all levels of 8-ball pool in England, from the grassroots to professional, securing a real opportunity for continued growth and development.
Initial conversations between the two organisations in 2021 indicated there were a number of areas that would benefit from more formal communications. Those conversations led by UPG Chairman Mark Quirk and EPA Chairperson Barbara Taylor, resulted in a formal proposal from UPG which was presented to the county members at the EPA Annual General Meeting last weekend in Stoke-on-Trent. The outcome was a resounding agreement that will safeguard and secure 8-ball pool for many years ahead.
The agreement means that the Ultimate Pool Group will now be recognised as the professional body of the English Pool Association, providing the platform for players to develop from grassroots pool, through the amateur ranks to becoming a professional.
In addition, the EPA will also benefit with the Ultimate Pool Group providing support to corporate and commercial operations with the goal of modernising and maximising resources to unleash the potential advantages of the collaboration.
The EPA will continue to have complete autonomy to plan, organise and deliver its events, and will now have access to technology and materials designed to develop the game of 8-ball pool into an exciting new era.
Taylor said: "Pool players of all standards across the world have been watching the advancement and growth of Ultimate Pool with great intrigue over the past year. We are very excited about working in partnership with Ultimate Pool to shape the direction and the future of the sport we love. Many of our members, players we have grown up with in the EPA structure have already performed extremely well in Ultimate Pool competitions finishing as winners.
We look forward to working together with the Ultimate Pool Group to enhance pool events at all levels by distributing additional revenue back into the association. We can't wait to start inspiring a new generation of pool players, developing our youth by working with schools and youth clubs. It’s a great time to be a pool player!"
Quirk said: "We are very happy to reach this agreement with the EPA and I would like to thank its members for listening to us and sharing our vision for the sport in England. The EPA is recognised by Sport England as the governing body for pool in the country and has successfully run major events for over the past four decades.
We both share the view that this is a big sport waiting to break out. England is a hotbed for 8-ball pool with well over 100,000 people playing in EPA recognised leagues or events each year, and this doesn’t take into account many more that play the sport recreationally.
What we are trying to achieve is not about rulesets, power, or control – it is about unity and coming together for the sport of 8-ball pool and unleashing its full potential. We can do this by pooling our resources and expertise, creating a model which means organisations and the sport is self-sufficient and not dependent on external sponsors to finance our future."
Further details about the partnership will be released by both parties in due course.
Barbara Taylor, EPA Chair