Pool World Champion

Amy-Claire King lines a up a shot. Photo: Youtube

South African Pool World Champion King opens up on loss and winning

Amateur Pool World Champion Amy-Claire King has highlighted the plight of the sport which has a negative stigma as a ‘pub game’.

Pool World Champion

Amy-Claire King lines a up a shot. Photo: Youtube

Amy-Clair King was crowned World Masters Singles champion at the World Eightball Pool Championships in Blackpool last month.

King was also part of a Proteas ladies team that won the team World Championships at the same event. The 28-year-old was also named in the team of the tournament alongside compatriot Madeleine Olivier.

The road to these Pool World Championships was a hard one for King, who lost her mother to breast cancer a year ago. King acknowledge a need to strengthen the mental side of her game. She sports a tattoo that reads ‘for you, mom’ on her right wrist

“My mother was always next to me whenever I was playing pool, whether I was practising or competing in tournaments,” King said in an interview with The Saturday Star.

“The tattoo is so that whenever I picked up cue or did anything else I was reminded of her.

“The last couple of years have been rough. I’ve really struggled ever since my mom was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. A lot of other things have also happened. My career ultimately took a lot of strain.”

“I spent a lot of time working on the mental aspects of my game. I read plenty of motivational books. One which stuck with me and which spoke to me the most was a book called ‘Relentless’. I have been dealt so many challenges, but I have always been relentless in achieving my goals. This book really helped me mentally.

“I also spent around five hours each day improving my game and working really hard to become a better player.

Bittersweet Pool World Champion

King said the joy of earning double world titles after numerous attempts was tinged with sadness at not being able to share the moment with her mother.

“It was harder to win now. I wish my mother was around to see me my achievements. I had mixed emotions when I won. It’s a lonely place to be without mom, but I still play for her.

“On the day I arrived in Blackpool it was my mother’s birthday. It was a bitter reminder of what I have lost. It was hard.

“I have been to eight or nine World Championships now and I have always come close but never been able to pass the finishing line, so this is unbelievable.”

The amatuer Pool World Champion hopes that the triumph of the women’s team and her individual success alerts potential sponsors to the lack of funding for the sport in South Africa.

The goal that sent Bafana through!

Despite technically being an amateur, King took a year off work to focus on the World Championships, a decision that paid off at the Championships but saw her sacrifice a lot.

“It’s a decision I felt I had to make to ensure that I perform at my best level.

“Getting sponsorship is really tough. We have to work and have jobs just like every other person. To get to Blackpool, my friends arranged a golf day for me to raise funds for my trip.

“People just aren’t willing to jump on board because they see it as a sport played in bars. Hopefully, now that we have come back as world champs, things will change.

“For the All Africa Games, we have been told we need to bring R27 000 each, which is a lot of money. I don’t know if we will be able to raise it. We have just come back as world champs. We don’t mind putting in the work, but really need financial support.”