Since its launch earlier this year, Pool 4 Change has racked up quite a long list of participating schools – and now learners taking part in the programme will get the chance to show off their skills on a national level.More than 2 000 learners from more than 60 schools across Mitchell’s Plain, Grassy Park, Lavender, Hillview, Steenberg, Retreat and Seawinds areas, are involved in the programme.The club does far more than honing learners’ skills in the game of 8-ball pool. It offers learners a support system to deal with any challenges that may cross their path.Donavan Johnson, a founding member of the initiative, explains: “We guide them through whatever struggles they may have – be it behavioural or educational – we work through it with them. “We also work together with the teachers who are part of the project. It’s not only about playing pool; it’s about the holistic structure and development of children.”Another founding member of the club, Yusuf Attwood, adds: “We’re busy with a booklet to show how we change the mindsets of children. Playing pool also improves mathematics.”Pool 4 Change will take four teams of learners to Middelburg, Mpumalanga, to compete in the SA u 18 Pool Championships from Sunday 22 to Friday 27 September.“For the first time, we’re going to take learners to participate in nationals, straight from school level,” says Johnson.Funds are still needed to cover the transport costs of learners participating in the tournament.Galiek Saville, also a founding member, has sent out a call to the public, asking for donations to assist with these costs.Johnson says he has seen how learners benefit from the programme.“There’s a change in them. From meeting them to interacting with them at the coaching clinics and seeing them play at tournaments and league, there is a visible change. They are excited about where they are going with this.” Funding is also needed to expand the club’s services. Next term it hopes to start coaching learners from schools in Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Crossroads and Phillipi. The club is also setting up coaching clinics at schools located throughout central part of Cape Town.Attwood believes the impact of the programme on children is unlike that of any other recognised sports in the Western Cape. “I think we are the most progressive team sport in South Africa,” he says.The programme relies heavily on fundraising activities and donations. Pool 4 Change hopes to add new pool boards to its new schools in October. All contributions are welcome. V For more information,contact Galiek Saville on 071 328 6450 or Yusuf Attwood on 073 816 4762.