EASTERN Province enjoyed one of their most successful tournaments in recent years when they scooped four medals, including gold in the under-15A girls section, in the SA Schools Water Polo Championships in East London this week.
With more than 2000 people, including players, managers, coaches and officials, the tournament is one of the largest aquatic events in the world.
EP authorities were delighted at the performances of their teams.
Besides the winning effort of the girls’ U15 team, the U16A boys and U19B girls claimed silver medals, and the U14A boys took the bronze.
The U19A boys lost to Western Province 12-4 in the semifinals and were then defeated by KwaZulu Natal 11-5 for the bronze medal.
Individually, Nicholas Beswick (U19A) and Jason Evezard (U16A) were both chosen for the SA Schools U18 side.
“We, as a province, are extremely proud of what we have achieved, and to be considered as one of the leading provinces at the tournament is testimony of the enthusiasm and growth of the sport at schools level,” EP Schools Water Polo chairman Dean Carelse said.
“Waterpolo is one of the fastest growing sports in South Africa, and this is evident in the pleasing increase in the number of players participating this year compared to last year’s figures.
“This growth is no less apparent in EP, with 20 teams from our province in attendance and no fewer than 250 people attending the national tournament.”
The EP medal winners’ results were:
U15A girls: bt Boland 9-1, bt Central Gauteng u15B 9-4, bt Border u15B 18-2, lost to WP 3-2, bt Eastern Gauteng 16-1; semifinal: v Central Gauteng, 5-5 after full time, EP won penalty shootout 2-0; final: bt WP 2-1
U16A boys: bt WP u16B 6-0, bt Border 10-3, bt Central Gauteng B 10-3, bt Border B 24-2, bt Northern Tigers 7-0; semifinal: v KZN, level 7-7 after full time, won 4-3 on penalties ; final: lost to WP 7-5
U19B girls: lost to Border B 6-2, bt SWD 11-8, lost to Zimbabwe 6-5; semifinals: bt KZN B 7-3; final: v Border, level 4-4 after full time; lost 4-2 on penalties
U14A boys: lost to WP 6-5, bt Border 8-1, bt v Boland 9-2, bt EP B 21-2, bt Zimbabwe 16-1, bt Central Gauteng 8-7; semifinal: lost to KZN 7-5; 3rd place: bt Central Gauteng 4-3