In a rare feat, two Murray Bridge Eight Ball Association (MBEBA) players have been selected to represent South Australia on the national stage.
Beth Kendall and Nat Hatton, who both play for the same Callington Eagles team, qualified for the 10-day Australian Eight-Ball Federation Championships at a recent ladies state carnival in Adelaide.
As far as we’re aware, this is the first time any female players from the region have been sent through, and suddenly we’ll be sending two. It’s just awesome.Nat Hatton
Kendall said every year the Murray Bridge Eight-Ball Association send a side to the state carnival, and the top 10 players get invited to attend the championships.
“I finished in the top 10, hat’s how I was invited, but the competition is also open to the top three players from each side and that’s where Nat came in,” she said.
The chance to represent the state is extra special for the MBEBA, Hatton said.
“As far as we’re aware, this is the first time any female players from the region have been sent through to the national, and suddenly we’ll be sending two. It’s just awesome,” she said.
Kendall has been involved in Murray Bridge eight-ball for 24 years, while Hatton begun more recently, but MBEBA president Tanya Emery expressed her joy for both players.
“It’s such an achievement for these two. They’re both very deserved of it and I know they’ll represent us well,” Emery said.
“Having one player from our club selected to represent the state is fantastic, let alone to have two.”
Now that Kendall and Hatton have qualified and know the competition dates, actually getting to championship becomes their next mountain to climb.
The two are actively seeking sponsorship from any willing businesses or individuals in the region.
“We know that it is likely to cost between $1500 and $2000 for each of us.
“We’ve looked at what it cost some of the people who went to the championships last year and we’re certain it will cost between that again,” Kendall said.
The Eight-Ball Association of South Australia will put forward a percentage of travel and accommodation costs, but they are largely left up to players.
“Unfortunately we don’t have any family or friends to stay with while we’re in Canberra, so we’ll have to fund raise as much as we can, because we’re not missing out on this,” Hatton said.
Kendall and Hatton have set up a Facebook page where they can be contacted for sponsorship.
“The page is really so we can spread our message and get out there,” Kendall said.
The Australian Eight-Ball Federation Championships run from November 9-18. To view the live stream of the tournament or for more information, head to http://www.aebf.com.au/.
Search ‘Help send Beth and Nat to Nationals’ on Facebook for their page.