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Cliff’s on the ball: Eight-ball enjoying growing recognition and participation

EIGHT-BALL is no longer regarded as a “drunken man’s hit and giggle pastime”.
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Cued for action: Cliff Roberts is on the eight-ball as far as developing and growing the sport in Sunraysia, and (inset) flashback to last year,and players in the frame at the Irymple Hotel Main picture: John Anderson

It’s now looked at more as a genuine sport that is enjoyed by the young and the young at heart.

Affectionately referred to as “pres”, Cliff Roberts, 55, joined the Sunraysia Eight-ball Association Inc (SEBA) 10 years ago and has served as president for the past four years.

Eight-ball in Sunraysia had been played for about 40 years, however Cliff said it was only in the past five years that the sport had really taken off.

“The sport appears to be increasing in popularity and our current membership base is 150, of which one third are women,” Cliff said.

“Eight-ball started off by being played in pubs and clubs across Sunraysia and it wasn’t taken seriously as a sport, rather, looked on as a night’s recreation while enjoying a few beers with your mates.”

Cliff has been playing eight-ball for 40 years and said he tends to win more frames than he loses.

“There’s always someone better than you, which is good, it gives you the incentive to play on,” Cliff said.

In the past five years, Cliff has been directly involved in seeing eight-ball as a “sport” continually moving forward, with the help of a proactive committee.

“I came on to the committee in 2008, spent three years as a committee member, and was elected president in 2011.

At the start, eight-ball was only played on a Tuesday night at pub and club venues across Sunraysia.

Cliff and the eight other committee members have been instrumental in the establishment of a 10-team Monday night comp and a 10-team Thursday night comp, both played in the SEBA clubroom at the Irymple Hotel.

“Our association proudly owns five high-quality eight-ball competition tables and all the associated accessories,” he said.

“We’re fortunate and thankful to the hotel proprietor, Peter Ked­menec, and his staff for allowing us the use of the room, where we can run carnivals, junior academies and other special tournaments, including all finals of local competitions.

“Currently, the Tuesday night competition is played at all pubs and clubs across the region. However, all finals are played in our SEBA clubroom.”

Cliff said the atmosphere in the clubroom was “second to none”.

“With the background music and 40 players all enjoying the sport that they love, it makes for a great night out,” Cliff said.

“When I see 80-year-olds playing alongside 12-year-olds and even clients of ‘Life Skills on Pine’ having a go, it warms my heart to see the sport I love being enjoyed by everybody.

“Eight-ball as a sport does not discriminate, it’s non-contact and can be, and is, enjoyed by all ages and abilities.”

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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