Meet Charlotte Hatton, cue sports superstar
The 15-year-old from Punthari is set to play in the World Blackball Championships in France this October, but until then, is giving Murray Bridge locals a run for their money.
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Charlotte Hatton, 15, is possibly the best cue sports player of her age, not only in the Murraylands, but in Australia.
The Punthari resident was selected to join the under-23 Australian team at the World Blackball Championships coming up in Albi, France, this October.
To help fund her trip, Charlotte has been taking on anyone brave enough to face her at the Bridgeport Hotel.
Murray Bridge News headed down to the Bridgeport on Tuesday afternoon to chat to Charlotte about her passion for cue sports, how she got into the sport, and what is hopefully in store ahead.
How long have you been playing cue sports and how did you discover them?
I’ve been playing cue sports since I was 11. My mum and dad both play, and they were taught by theithers. At home, we have a pool and a snooker table, and whenever my family meets up, we always end up playing a game.
I hadn’t played before 11 because mum was worried I would rip the felt – I haven’t yet – but one night we were visiting Dean Lord, a family friend, who told my mum to let me have a go. He set up foam pads for me to stand on so I could reach the table. I loved it straight away. Dean said I had a good cuing action, and as long as my fixed my stance I could be really good. He ended up being my coach for about one and a half years.
What are the challenges of playing cue sports?
There is a mental aspect to the game. You always have to keep your composure, you don’t want people getting into your head. I always make sure to keep a straight face when I’m playing, I try not to smile. I’ve been told that makes me look intimidating but really I’m just trying to concentrate on the game.
It’s a male-dominated sport, which many female players find intimidating. But I’ve been playing mostly around men throughout my career, so I’ve been able to overcome that. Also, when I tell people I play cue sports, they’re often really surprised, like “really?” I think women need to be more confident in their abilities. People like to talk about stereotypes, saying “women can’t do this, women can’t do that”, but they definitely can.
How has participating in cue sports shaped you as a person?
Since playing the sport, I’ve become way more confident. I used to be the girl that was very shy, would sit in the corner, and didn’t like to open up to people. Now, my family tell me they can’t shut me up!
What do you love most about the sport?
I love the people. Everyone who plays cue sports, we’re like a big family. Whenever we catch up we’re all so happy to see each other. Also, when you’re on the table and you succeed at something, like getting a certain position, and everyone cheers; it’s a really good feeling.
As a cue sports player, what is your ultimate dream and who do you aspire to be like?
The dream would be to play in the Las Vegas league. If you come first in that competition you could win up to $50,000. As for people I aspire to, I really like how Renata and Mick Delahunty have gone about their career. They both play cue sports and now run Chalkers down at Glenelg. They’ve found a way to run a business and make a living from cue sports, which is something I would like to do.
More information: Search for “Charlotte’s cue sport adventures” on Facebook.