Zach and Giancarlo use pool to get students to play pool and socialize outside of class hours
It’s been years since I held a pool cue in my hand. The essence of pool, as I recall, lies in the
exhilaration one feels when sinking the eight ball — the winning move. These memories rushed
back when I crossed paths with the organizers of the Towers pool tournament.
On the first day I met with Zach Dufily, one of the two organizers, who always seemed to be in quiet contemplation. When I arrived at Towers, I noticed him sitting at the bar, engrossed in a book. I greeted him and asked about his studies at MacEwan. “I’m in my second year of nursing,” he replied. Zach shared that during his freshman year, he would “like to come in, have a beer, and play pool sometimes.” He also noted that pool wasn’t a popular game at the time, and there were no pool tournaments at Towers.
A few days later, I decided to attend one of the pool tournaments. That’s when I crossed paths with Giancarlo Zenari, the second organizer. A mature student, Giancarlo is in his third year studying sociology. “I took many years off and worked,” says Giancarlo. “I knew Jill [the bar manager at Towers] from before, so I found a comfortable place here. Towers is my comfort zone.” We spoke about politics, feeling older than the average university student, and, of course, about pool and the pool tournament.
When asked about his favorite aspect of the pool tournament, Giancarlo said, “It’s a social aspect. Usually, pool is played in a bar where drinks are flowing. It’s where we can commiserate over shared experiences… like a third space away from home and work.”
The organizers informed me that the pool tournament will take place twice a month. Giancarlo and Zach shared they are planning on adding special pool tournament events in conjunction with holidays. For instance, a couple’s tournament for Valentine’s Day.
In a world that’s becoming increasingly difficult to foster friendships, pool emerges as a great facilitator — a game where friendships bloom.
For anyone interested, the organizers are planning on displaying pool tournament posters with QR code links to their Discord group for more information.
Photo supplied. Pictured are Zach Dufily and Giancarlo Zenari (left to right.)