WATCH | Shooting star: Lavender Hill pool champ needs funds for a shot at sinking R12.5m prize

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  • Shaiyene Fritz has been hustling to raise funds to play pool, the sport she loves, on the international stage.
  • She needs R45 000 to cover the costs of her trip to China.
  • Fritz will represent South Africa at the World Heyball Masters Grand Finals in March. 

Shaiyene Fritz is no stranger to hard work or hustling to make her dreams come true.

The 21-year-old from Lavender Hill in Cape Town is selling boerewors rolls, tutoring, and has even started selling buckets of washing powder to raise the funds she needs to play pool on the international stage.

And she has her eye on the prize – R12.5 million, which Fritz hopes to use for good if she wins. 

She spent her childhood in game shops, where she fell in love with pool. 

"It was easily accessible and only cost me R1 to play," Fritz told News24.

Since then, she's represented Western Province in several age groups and was part of the South African team that won 32 medals at the 2022 Blackball World Championships in Morocco last year. 

Shaiyene Fritz takes aim while playing pool
Shaiyene Fritz, 21, from Lavender Hill needs R45 000 to make it to the World Heyball Masters Grand Finals in China in March.
News24 Bertram Malgas

"I was so nervous going into the tournament. I didn't think I was going to be ready. I played many practice games to ensure I was focused," she explained. 

Now, the Stellenbosch University education student has been selected to play in the World Heyball Masters Grand Finals in China at the end of March.

Before she gets there, she will need to raise R45 000 to cover all her trip expenses. Each team member must fund their visa applications, travels, meals and accommodation.    

"I am not someone that waits for people to give me a handout. I’ll do everything I can to ensure I raise the money I need," Fritz said. 

Shaiyene Fritz poses with pool cue
Shaiyene Fritz, 21, from Lavender Hill needs R45 000 to make it to the World Heyball Masters Grand Finals in China in March.
News24 Bertram Malgas

She created a back-a-buddy account, hoping the public could assist her. 

The World Heyball Masters Grand Finals takes place between 21 March and 5 April, and hosts some of the world's best pool players.

It also offers a R12.5 million prize purse.  

She said:

I have always dreamt about being able to compete at this tournament. It's not only because I can play against the best, but winning the prize money would change my life and my community's life.

If she wins, Fritz hopes to buy her mom a better house and would like to invest some money for her future. But, ultimately, she would like to plough some of the winnings back into the Lavender Hill community. 

Fritz hopes to create a pool academy to teach the youth in her neighbourhood and plans to help students get bursaries to receive a better education. 

"I want to be a beacon for the youth in my community. They must see what I am doing and want to do more with their lives," she said.

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