REBECCA Kenna is making her professional snooker debut next week, and hopes to inspire young women and girls to pick up a cue and get involved in a traditionally male-dominated sport.

The Keighley potter, 32, will be competing alongside women's world number one Reanne Evans and some of the sport's greatest names, such as John Higgins and Mark Williams, in the BetVictor Shoot Out in Milton Keynes.

It is anyone's game in the 128-strong field, with each match lasting just one frame over a maximum of 10 minutes.

The tournament, televised on Eurosport, is in a straight knockout format, and will run from next Thursday to next Sunday.

Kenna enthused: "I thought I'd get an opportunity to play in a professional tournament at some point, as though the Women's Tour is classed as amateur, the Pro Tour have been looking to give us chances to compete.

"It's been a male-dominated sport for so long, and you don't see women playing it on TV, so young girls don't have that role model.

"It's good the likes of myself and Reanne are getting these opportunities to inspire the younger generation.

"It should be an even sport for men and women, as it's all about skill and precision, not strength.

"But it looks like we (women) can't play, as we get so little exposure."

Kenna will get the chance to prove herself in a first round match against young German Simon Lichtenberg next Thursday.

Lichtenberg is a former European Under-21 Championship winner, but Kenna admitted: "I don't know too much about him, other than that he only joined the tour a couple of years ago and that he's a good, young player.

"But it doesn't really matter who you play. It's a strange format, so if you give anyone a chance, a game could be over in seconds.

"You've got to take your chances when you get to the table, or at least play a good safety.

"I find it a bit strange that it's being classed as a ranking event, but it's a good tournament to have, as it gives everyone a chance and is a bit of fun, a lottery.

"You might think snooker's boring, but this is more exciting and should pull in new viewers."

The Keighley star, who wanted to thank her sponsors Taom and Century Pro Tips, added: "I would love to play one of the big names at the tournament, that would be amazing, but just to be on TV will be fantastic.

"If I can get going and beat Simon and a couple of others, maybe I'll get to play one of those top players later in the week, which would be a dream come true."

It will be Kenna's first 'lockdown' tournament, and she said: "I've not seen all the Covid protocols just yet, but I know I'll have to get down there the day before to get tested.

"After that I'll need to bubble in the on-site hotel. It's all being done in the right way.

"It's a bit easier to isolate before the tournament than usual, as I run my own snooker shop and I'm a snooker coach, but I haven't been able to do any of that in this lockdown."