St Peter’s College’s 4th Annual Old Petrian’s Open Girls’ Water Polo tournament gets underway this Friday at the school’s Indoor Aquatics Centre in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, and is sure to be a hotly contested affair with 18 of the top water polo-playing schools in South Africa participating.
An excited Tammy Michau, one of St Peter’s College’s senior water polo players, said that her team, who failed to make the knockout stages last year, have been training really hard in preparation for the tournament, and hope to do better than last year.
"We’re (St Peter’s) still a very, very young school, and our team is very young," said Michau, "But we’ve come such a far way, and that’s why I’ve really enjoyed playing for the team, because of how we’ve developed, and we’ve grown.
"We’ve come from winning nothing, to winning quite a lot of the games, and right now, we’re probably about fourth in Gauteng for polo, so I think we should have quite a good chance of doing better than we did last year".
Michau said she expected tough competition from defending champions Reddam House and last year’s fellow finalist, Clarendon High School for Girls.
St Peter’s new girls’ water polo coach Ryan Weideman, who started coaching the team in January this year, told gsport he expected his team to give teams a good run for their money.
"But in terms of winning the tournament, there are perhaps four girls’ schools that definitely stand out far greater than the teams below them, currently Randpark, Clarendon, Reddam and Herschel," said Weideman. "Those teams are pretty strong at the moment, so in terms of being realistic in terms of how we’re going to do in the tournament, if we can make semis, I’ll be really impressed."
Sharing his thoughts on the phenomenal growth on girls’ water polo in South Africa, Weideman said: "You don’t necessarily have to be the best swimmer, you can be physically strong and skills-wise you can still be a good athlete in terms of water polo, so I think that it’s just a good game for everyone to get involved with.
"There’s no specific individuality skills that you need, I suppose, girls always looking for a game that you’re not singled out, and in terms of team sports, water polo is pretty good at doing that, they all get to share the glory."
gsport Editor Kass Naidoo will be guest speaker at a formal dinner on Thursday evening at the school’s College Hall, just 12 hours before the action gets underway in their Wahoo Aquatics Centre.
The schools participating are: