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Crawley to host Snooker’s English Open

Crawley will welcome the best snooker players in the world later this year when the English Open comes to the town.

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Taking place at K2 Crawley from October 15th to 21st, it will be the first world ranking event ever staged in the West Sussex town.

The English Open is the first of the 2018/19 season’s Home Nations events, to be followed by tournaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It brings together 128 of the world’s top stars, competing in a flat draw with all players needing to win seven matches to take the Steve Davis Trophy.

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title last year in Barnsley by thrashing Kyren Wilson 9-2 in the final.

Once again there will be a £1 million bonus on offer to any player who can win all four Home Nations events over the 2018/19 season. The Home Nations series receives extensive live television coverage from Eurosport and Quest.

K2 Crawley staged the qualifying rounds of the Australian Open in 2015 and will now host the final stages of a tournament for the first time.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said:

“This is fantastic news for the people of Crawley and the surrounding area as they will have the chance to watch the best players on the planet live in action. Having staged qualifiers at K2 Crawley before we know it is an excellent venue and I hope to see the place packed out with fans.

“The English Open is the first tournament to be staged on UK soil next season and what a fantastic event it will be, with 128 top stars battling for glory. Ronnie O’Sullivan’s performance in the final last year was arguably the best of the 2017/18 season as he had a 98 per cent pot success rate. And Ronnie definitely had his eyes on the £1 million bonus until he lost in the third round of the Northern Ireland Open.

“We’re really looking forward to working with the team in Crawley on staging another top class event. It’s always a pleasure to bring a big tournament to a new location and once tickets are on sale they will be selling fast.”

Jonathon Hodgson Freedom Leisure Centre Manager says:

“We are delighted to be hosting this world class event at K2 Crawley where we pride ourselves on our quality facilities, and by hosting this prestigious competition we are not only putting the leisure centre on a worldwide stage but Crawley too.

“At Freedom Leisure our focus is on supporting increased participation in sport and for Crawley Borough Council an active Crawley is very important. High profile sporting events such as these serve to inspire people and leave lasting legacies. We hope that local families with older children will take the opportunity to spectate – as who knows Crawley may even have the next snooker world champion.”

Details of how to buy tickets will be released soon.

Health & Fitness

From zero to marathon in a matter of months

What happened when people told K2 staff member Lauren she wouldn’t be able to run a marathon? You guessed it… she ran a marathon.

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Lauren’s motivation behind signing up to the marathon was to help raise money for the MS Society – a fantastic charity, and a great cause. Her ultimate goal was just to finish the 26.2 miles and, if possible, complete this in less than 6 hours.

Lauren admits she underestimated the challenge she had signed up for but the motivation she got from people saying she wouldn’t finish the race inspired her even more to succeed.

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She was completely new to fitness and had never trained at any level – she only started training 6 months before the marathon date, in November 2017!

Lauren said:

“My first training sessions were on the track doing intervals of 60 second running and 60 second walking, and eventually moving into small distance runs split between walking and running.

“Three months into my training, I started taking part in indoor cycling classes as these are low impact, which I found helped so much with my fitness. I continued to run but had ankle and calf injuries in January and February which set me back. After a few Osteopath sessions with Jonathan from David Such Osteopathy here at K2 Crawley, I stated to see improvements and was able to keep training.

“I also participated in a lot of staff classes and went out for runs with my friends and colleagues at freedom leisure, who operate K2 Crawley, who were also training for the Brighton Marathon (Sarah Roberts and Georgie Martin). Without the support of both of these girls, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this massive challenge.”

Moving into the last couple of months of training Lauren started upping the miles, doing 2 to 3 runs a week with the longest distance being 17 miles.

“When the day itself came around I still didn’t think I would finish the marathon. I was so scared and nervous but having the girls with me at the start really helped.

“For the first half of the race, I felt good, but when I got to around the 10 mile point I started feeling pain in my knee and it became more and more difficult. At around 16 miles I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’m lucky I had so much support from friends and family on the day which really encouraged me to keep going.

“The last 6 miles or so were horrible, and I would say the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Somehow I managed to find the strength to keep going, and when I got to mile 25 my uncle and dad ran the last mile with me and at this point I knew I would finish.

“I was in shock that I finished and was still in such pain I couldn’t take it all in. It wasn’t until the next day when I got all the messages from people congratulating me that my achievement started to sink in.

“I now feel healthier and better within myself. I’ve lost lots of weight and have gained confidence.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Georgie and Sarah for all their support and a huge well done for their amazing marathon times!  Also, to everyone who helped with my training including Owen Callaghan, K2 Crawley’s Fitness Manager, who took me out on runs around Tilgate Park. I couldn’t have done it without you, and all the staff at K2 have been so supportive and helpful. I must say a special thank you to everyone who donated. Between me, Sarah and Georgie we raised a whooping £1766.50 for the MS Society.”

Lauren managed to smash her target finishing the marathon in 5 hours 54 minutes! This was a huge achievement and something she should be super proud of.

K2 Crawley General Manager, Jon Hodgson said:

“We would like to all say a massive well done to Lauren, Georgie and Sarah for their fantastic achievement! It’s a great event to take part in, and they raised a lot of money for a great cause. All the staff at K2 Crawley are proud and have enjoyed taking part and helping them through their training throughout 2018 so far.”

To see how K2 Crawley, operated by freedom leisure on behalf of Crawley Borough Council, can help you on your own fitness journey, go straight to their website.

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