Top water polo set for welcome return

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Water polo will make a welcome return to Bloemfontein after an absence of more than 18 months due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Top water polo will be making a welcome return to Bloemfontein this week for the first time since 2020 with the Grey College All Age Groups Water Polo Tournament.

As is the case with all sporting codes, water polo was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and with only one school in the entire Free State presenting it as a sport, the virus has been even more telling.

As the name of the tournament suggests, it’s an all-age group event and will feature eight schools across competing at u/14, u/15 and 1st team level.

Several of the country’s top water polo schools will be competing and it will no doubt provide for thrilling action. The hosts, Grey College, are in Group A along with Selborne College (East London), St Stithians College (Johannesburg) and Wynberg Boys’ High School (Cape Town).

Group B will comprise Paul Roos Gymnasium (Stellenbosch), Grey High School (Port Elizabeth), Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Pretoria) and St David’s (Johannesburg).
St Stithians are always a well-coached and very organised team and off the bat will be considered as the favourites this week but, having said that, any of the eight teams can stake their claim.

Director of water polo at Grey, Nico Venter, told Bloemfontein Courant at the end of the day the sport must be the big winner during the inaugural tournament.

“On behalf of Grey College Water Polo, we wish to extend a warm welcome to all the attending schools. In retrospect of all the Covid-19 negativity, we sincerely hope that the youth can once again prosper in our inaugural All Ages Water Polo Tournament.”

The action begins at 10:00 on Thursday morning when Grey u/14 takes on Wynberg u/14, while the finals will be played on Sunday morning.

Due to Covid-19, strict protocols will be in place and no fans will be permitted to attend the matches. – MORGAN PIEK