Promising Blackball Player targets world championships

Manager, Dino Nair, with 9-ball junior champ, Marnitz, and his mother, Ronelle Hawkes, during the VBS junior tournament at the Vadin Billiards Room, in Montague Gardens, this past weekend. Marnitz won the tournament. Picture by Lonwabo Marele
SA junior 9-ball champ, Marnitz Hawkes, eyes his next world championship after winning the VBS junior champs in Montague Gardens at the weekend. Picture by Lonwabo Marele.

Promising 9-ball national junior champion Marnitz Hawkes, 15, from Brackenfell, is gearing up to represent the country at the four 9-ball open world championships in USA, Russia, Austria and UK next year.

Earlier in October, Marnitz took part in the Predator World Junior 9-ball Championship in Klagenfurt, Austria. He finished fifth after a narrow 9-6 loss to eventual champ, Dominik Jatszrab, in the quarter-finals.

On Saturday, Marnitz won the 9-ball tournament at Vadin Billiards Room in Montague Gardens. His confidence, skill and talent played a crucial role throughout the tournament.

“The tournament was exciting. Playing in Austria gave me some exposure. I met a lot of talented players,” said Marnitz.

Originally from Bloemfontein, playing for the Free State colours, Marnitz moved to Cape Town with his family to grow his skill, talent and exposure to the game.

Now flying the Western Province flag high in the sport, Marnitz is already a champion in a number of cue sport tournaments, including the VBR Amateur 9-ball championship in May, the 9-ball boys under-17 champion in South Africa.

The young lad said for his dream to come true next year, he has to raise R200 000 for the world championship between May and October. The events include the USA Open, World Junior 9-ball Champs in Austria, Kremlin Cup in Russia, and the UK Open.

The trip will include a parental guardian or coach, since he is still a minor.

Marnitz is managed by former SA and world champ, Dino Nair, who has rightfully created a number of world champions from South Africa, including Joy Willenberg, from Mitchell’s Plain, and Elzette Koen, from Brackenfell, to name a few.

Nair is also the owner at Vadin Billiards Room, where he mentors young and old cue sport players.

Nair said Marnitz is an excellent player, he works hard and has a bright future ahead of him.

This weekend, Marnitz will be participating in the 9-ball SA Tour, at Vadin Billiards Room, in Montague Gardens.

His mother, Ronelle, said the move for Marnitz to play and study in Brackenfell has been fruitful for his balance between school and sport.

“He loves the sport. He started playing when he was 10 years old. He does not play in his division, he usually plays in the older tournaments,” she said.

If you can help, contact manager, Dino Nair on 073 729 4244 or email

Marnitz Hawkes is prepapring for the 9-ball SA Tour, at Vadin Billiards Room, in Montague Gardens. Picture by Lonwabo Marele.