Pool 4 Change, a non-profit organisation aimed at creating a schools pool league, was launched at the Ottery Youth Care and Educational Centre at the weekend.
The launch was attended by at least 50 schools from the area, including 35 schools registered with the organisation.
It was acknowledged by Pool SA chairman Koos Steyn, thr provincial education department, as well as provincial and national players, including Joy Willenberg, Marcelino James, Rushin Daniels, Ra’ees Attwood, Tasreeq Martin, Jayden Galant, Taufeeq Murray, Imaad Saville, says the NPO was registered in February this year after a group of senior pool players came together with the same aim, to develop a safe schools league for future development of the sport.
“I had played pool for many years, this is our way of giving back to the children. We are also planning an opening for the Metro South Schools District Tournament which will be a one-day tournament before the league opens – the date and venue will be confirmed later this week,” says Seville.
Pool 4 Change coordinator Donovan Johnson, a passionate pool player and volunteer, says keeping the youngsters off the streets is their main priority.
“The launch was dedicated to developing the youngsters at school level where it is safer. Once we are done surveying the school we assist the children through foundation stages and levels in various teams.”
Johnson says they told the newcomers that the provincial and national teams are the level they can work towards. This will bring opportunities to travel around the country and abroad.
“We are working from the ground level to try to make it accessible to everyone. Currently we’re covering the southern and metro district, so schools from Athlone, Langa, Phillippi, Mitchell’s Plain and more,” he says.
International Blackball women’s champion, Strandfontein resident, Joy Willenberg says she is excited about the project as much as the youngsters were excited for the exhibition match between her and Marcelino James at the weekend.
“The launch was well attended. It had a positive influence because a lot of them were excited, especially for the match,” she says.