Western Province under-18 Eightball Pool champions, Rushin Daniels, 15, and Tashreeq Martin, 15, are among five junior players from Team Bossi, a pool club based at Naran Snooker Club in Lansdowne, gearing up to represent the country in England later next year.
The youngsters had a winning streak at the SA under-18 Singles Championships in Worcester, in September, with Tashreeq seeding in the top 16 out of 128 players, and Rushin winning the event. Rushin also seeded 10th at the World Eightball Pool Federation championships in England earlier this year.
Now gearing up to return to England for the second time, the five youngsters are looking to raise funds through an event at Frankies, in Lansdowne, on Friday November 30.
Rushin said pool takes his mind off everything.
“I play to enjoy. I started playing four years ago when I was 11. The journey has been challenging. I enjoyed coming to watch on weekends and then I started playing pool,” he said.
Tashreeq also said pool takes his mind off a lot of things that people stress about.
“I just enjoy playing pool. It is very challenging to face all the people of South Africa, but now we are going to England to represent the country,” he said.
Western Cape Pool Union player and Rushin’s father, Junaid Peters said the event at Frankies is to enable the five youngsters to go and compete in the championships in England next year.
“It is quite expensive to get these kids to go overseas so that is why we are trying to make money so they can be able to go there for the second time and enjoy themselves.”
Peters said playing pool helps the youngsters stay out of trouble and to focus on school.
“Both do well at school, and Rushin is an A aggregate student at Norman Henshilwood High School. For me, it is for them to stay focused on the ball and that helps them a lot, and to apply the discipline and they will remain the good players that they are,” he said.
Western Province Pool Union chairman, Devon September said they are creating Eighthball ambassadors through discipline and hard work.
“Pool in the province has grown tremendously. We have the little ones playing here.
“They have been winning for a number of years now. I think we have been putting the right foot forward by developing them and giving them an opportunity to showcase the sport.”
September said they are the biggest union in the Western Cape, with the majority of their juniors, women, seniors and open team players representing the country.