Breaking barriers…and balls!

Kitso Ramono
SILVER SMILES: Lady Mellas and coach celebrating their medals

BW pocket a place at World Blackball Pool Championships

Despite its huge popularity locally, with a pool table or two seemingly mounted everywhere you look, most loaded with a queue of Two Pulas, Botswana has achieved precious little in the sport…until now!

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In a rare international outing, Team BW’s 12 ladies potted and snookered their way to a second-place finish at the All Africa Blackball Pool Championships in South Africa, Sandton.

Although they fell well short in Sunday’s final, soundly beaten by their more experienced hosts, the ‘Lady Mellas’ defeated Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Eswatini and Tanzania to pocket R25, 000 and a silver medal.

Their male counterparts on the other hand, got off to a steady start, winning their opening three matches before having the misfortune of coming-up against the mighty South Africans in the semis, where the adventure came to an emphatic end.

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By finishing in the top four, both sides did enough to qualify for the 2025 World Blackball Pool Championship, at a venue still to be decided.

Breaking barriers...and balls!
TAKING AIM: Focused on the black

Their success is all the more impressive (and unexpected!) considering Botswana Billiards Association (BBA) remains suspended by the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) for failing to comply with the Registrar of Societies standards.

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In fact, the association has been ‘grounded’ since 2021, and had to pay for the SA trip out of its own pockets.

Reflecting on a fantastic five days south of the border, BBA Public Relations Officer (PRO), Marang Morolong, said he was delighted with how the action unfolded.

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“We are more than impressed with the team’s performance. Keep in mind we haven’t been participating in any activities due to a lack of funds; no one is funding us, even this trip we funded it ourselves as a team!” Morolong remarked.

Although he said BBA are aware of what they must do in order for their suspension to be lifted, he called on BNSC to assist them in mobilizing the sport, as they look to capitalize on the game’s growing popularity.

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