Marchelino James from Woodlands, Mitchells Plain Photo: Facebook
Cape Town – Born and bred in Woodlands, Mitchells Plain, 18-year-old Marchelino James is a snooker champ and has set his sights on being among the best in the world.

James has been selected to represent South Africa at the Under-21 Snooker Championship in China from July 9-13. But coming from a single-mother-headed household, with three siblings, James is now seeking funds to make his dream a reality.

James has been played snooker since the age of 13. He is the current South African under-18 and under-21 snooker champion.

“I was very excited when I received the news that I will represent South Africa in China,” he said yesterday.

“It did not come as a shock because I practised and worked very hard and my family is happy too, they couldn’t contain their excitement for me.”

“Before I became a snooker player, I used to watch my brother play but unfortunately he stopped playing.

“That was then I decided to take over him and continued with the game. I also try to convince my peers to join snooker because it helped me to get off the street and be disciplined about everything in life,” he said.

“What I like about snooker is that unlike other sports, it does not need any physical fitness, but mental fitness to win the game,” he said.

His mother, Carol Anne James, said her son has been dedicated to being the best at the game.

“He has potential in what he is doing and he has made me the proudest mother in the world. I have four kids and he is my last born. I feel very proud because he is achieving a lot,” the mother said, adding she will host a karaoke to raise funds.

“I cannot afford to give him money straight from my pocket, travelling is very expensive. That’s why we are urging the public and businesses to donate money for my sons trip,” she said.

Manager and coach Shafiek Peters described James as a humble and respectful young man.

“He is also very mature for his age and because I do not want him to get into drugs, crime and jail, I nurtured him. Ever since then, his love for snooker never vanished instead, he kept on practising almost everyday.

“That is why today he is a champion and travelling abroad to represent South Africa. I have many times tried to recruit young boys within the community but most of them stopped participating, they engage themselves in other bad habits,” Peters said.

“On behalf of Marchelino James and the many potential future players this will encourage, we request assistance from local businesses, friends and family. We can assure you that this will open doors for the many youth to follow in his footsteps,” Peters said.

Donations can be made to:

Bank Name: Standard Bank

Account Name: Snooker and Billiards South Africa - Please do not use SABSA.

Branch Name: Meyerton

Branch Code: 01453740

Acc Number: 421775440