Cue sports: Panchoo is your lady
APSRA Panchoo started playing pool while studying for a Chemical Engineering degree after her then coach, Sanjeev Debipersadh insisted she join the KZN League.
“The most challenging part was to overcome the stigma attached to pool being a “pub sport”, and it’s association with alcohol, which was my mission to change all these years, by proving that the sport is not anything like this.”
Panchoo, made it to No.1 in the province in her first year of playing, No.1 in the country in her 2nd year, and No.1 in the world in her third year of playing the sport.
“I was one of the founding directors of National Blackball Federation which saw the official Protea colours being awarded to our players in 2005 when I achieved No.1 rank in SA in that first year of the sport being launched in SA”.
“For one of the only times in history, every Blackball qualifying player representing respective provinces, were fully paid for to attend the national championships held in Buffelspoort, Gauteng, which included kits, travel, accommodation, and 3 meals per day as well,” added Panchoo.
In 2008, she went on to win all six of Women’s World Championship Titles. Today, the SA Ladies Team holds one bronze medal and three Gold Medals for the Woman’s World Team Championship Titles, and Panchoo is the only player from SA that was part of every team on all four medal-winning occasions and again qualified this year, to defend all those titles in Bridlington, in the UK.
The event takes place at the end of the year and she already has won great support from a world class team (Olivia Leaner, Michelle Rabe, Joy Willenburg, Elzette Koen and Nicola Roussouw).
KZN required some assistance on the administration side last September, and that’s when she volunteered as the Provincial Secretary for Blackball. Within nine months of getting into administration of the sport, she was elected as the Managing Director of the South African Confederation of Cue Sport, which is affiliated to SASCOC.
It is Panchoo’s vision to create sought-after job opportunities through, and within the sport. She wants to take Cuesports towards becoming one of the official school sports and a National Sport soon.
“The sport has reached new heights and we expect to change the face of Africa in the near future,” said an elated Panchoo.