Help young pool champs win

2016-08-23 06:00
Hang Ten Pool Club in Hillview needs help to raise funds so that they can defend their title in pool in the championship that will be held in Secunda in October.

Hang Ten Pool Club in Hillview needs help to raise funds so that they can defend their title in pool in the championship that will be held in Secunda in October.

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Promising pool players from Hillview might be snookered by a lack of money.

The lack of funding is preventing them from taking a shot at the national championship in a few weeks.

Yusuf Attwood, the chairperson of Hang Ten pool club, is having sleepless nights because he can’t afford cost for his 11 students to go to Secunda in Mpumalanga for the pool championship in October.

Those that are set to go are aged between 13 and 17 and the tournament will be held from Monday 3 to Friday 7 October.

Started four years ago, the pool and snooker club has several medals and trophies. Now they have been invited to the championship, but don’t have the money for the trip.

Attwoood says this is the most difficult time of his life.

“These kids love what they do. I’m not employed. We have knocked on several doors to get help, but no-one wants to listen to us. We even approached the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and were told that the budget for the year is exhausted. Each time we approach them it’s the same answer, so we just don’t know when the right time is to apply for funding,” he says.

They need more that R45 000 to take the players to Secunda and need help to raise the money before October.

“This is not about me. It’s about the kids. They come here so that they are safe from harm on the streets. They enjoy the sport, but each year we have to struggle. I don’t want them to miss this opportunity. They are very young and they are playing with professionals which shows how good they are. I want them to go. They are the defending champions so I want them to go there and defend their title,” adds Attwood.

He says what breaks his heart is that they live in a community which is riddled with crime, and if he is forced to let go of the kids because they can’t afford trips, a lot can befall them.

“At times I just feel like giving up, but when I see these kids I hang on. We knocked on each door for help but nothing has come our way. One of my best players has stopped coming here because he couldn’t afford the money for tournaments. He used to borrow from merchants and they paid his trip expenses. I told him to stop because they would one day ask him to do something for them to pay it back and he won’t be able to. Now he is gone. How many more kids must suffer like this just because pool is not yet recognised as a sport making it difficult for us to get funding? It really hurts and frustrates me. I hope someone out there will help us so that we can take the kids to the championship,” he says.

In total Hang Ten has 43 children from the surrounding areas that go there to practice every day.V Readers who would like to help the Hang Ten members with their tournament expenses can contact Gary Herne on 073 288 5358 or Yusuf Attwood on 073 816 4762 or email yusufattwood28@gmail.com

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