Pool player Willenberg’s an all-round busy bee

Joy Willenberg and Jamaica Primary pupils at a Pool4Change event in late 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Star pool player Joy Willenberg, 35, from Strandfontein, has come a long way from reaching her first national championships in Bloemfontein, in 2007.

Equally adept at many forms of cue sport, the stable of games that includes pool, billiards and snooker, Willenberg is among the frontrunners on the circuit.

A member of the South African women’s team that won the World 8-ball Women’s Team championship in 2019 in Blackpool, England, she also won gold at the women’s Blackball event at the 2021 Arnold Classic, at Gold Reef City, in Johannesburg, and the Blackball South Africa singles title at the same venue earlier this year.

Her latest victory earned her a spot at the World Blackball championships, in Tangier, Morocco, later this year.

She was also part of the SA squad that won silver at the All Africa Blackball championships, in Zambia, in March. An all-round busy bee, she will also be travelling to Ireland as part of the SA team to defend their Women’s World 8-ball team title they’d won in 2019.

“For the Ireland trip,” she said, “I got selected back in 2019 but due to Covid there hasn’t been a world championship since, so we will finally be going this year.”

It’s been a busy few weeks for the ace sharpshooter as Willenberg and her WP teammates also took part in Pool South Africa’s 8-ball national championships in Saldanha, earlier this month.

“My team, Western Province A1 were runners up and I was a semi-finalist in the singles event. I also got selected for the SA women’s side that will be going to Morocco in 2023, God willing,” she said.