College waterpolo benefits from Serbian experience

2011-08-09 00:00

FIFTEEN Maritzburg College boys and two staff members went on a waterpolo trip to Serbia during the recent holidays. The object was both to get some world-class coaching and to play against some top junior sides.

They were hosted in Becej where they spent the first few days getting some intense coaching and playing practice games against the Becej club side. After their third game against Becej had been played, a dramatic improvement was seen in the College boys’ movement in the water and in their style of play, although their fitness did not match that of the locals.

Their first competitive match was against Spartek and they surprised the club side by taking a 5-2 lead after the first chukka. The last three chukkas were hard fought, with College hanging on to win 12-9.

The second match was against Zak U16 in Kikinda and again College surprised them after taking a 4-2 lead. The club side then made changes, bringing on their better players, and won the game 13-9. College played the U23 side later in the day and got hammered.

College won their fourth game against Senta, where they played in black-coloured water. The locals assured them it was safe and was discoloured because of thermal activity in the area. They won this game 14-8. The rematch played later saw arguably their best match of the tour and they drew 10-10 with a slightly stronger side. The junior members of the College side played the Senta girls’ team, ranked second in girls’ waterpolo in Serbia, and won 6-2, saving some teasing from their friends when they got home.

This was a valuable experience for the boys, both from the skills development in their waterpolo and from the cultural experience.

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