Pool of talent at Clifton

2014-09-26 00:00

OVER 200 adolescent boys waited anxiously to enter the Clifton School pool for a national water polo tournament yesterday.

The annual tournament, held over four days, sees 16 South African high schools’ best water polo teams face each other in an effort to win the national crown.

Captain of the Clifton School team Nick Downes said they had trained for months in preparation for the tournament.

“We are a team of best friends, so we work hard together, are passionate, and there is an understanding,” he said.

“This is the best aquatic centre in the southern hemisphere, and for us it is our second home,” he added.

Mike Howieson, the tournament director, said the tournament had been a great success so far, with help from main sponsors Nashua.

“Everything seems to be running well. The boys train for about four hours every day, five days a week.

“It takes a lot of determination and passion,” said Howieson about the Clifton team, who are five-time winners of the tournament.

“The only thing we cannot control are their nerves,” he chuckled.

Tournament co-ordinator Simon Downes, who is Nick’s father, said the event benefited Durban.

“Local bed and breakfast establishments are booked out.”

Yesterday, anxious parents filled the stands cheering on their boys.

Included among them were mothers Colleen Tewater, from Durban, and Adele Jones, from Hillcrest.

Tewater, whose son goes to Durban High School, said allowing children to take part in sports offered a better balance in their lives.

“I am sure most parents have seen a change and a sense of responsibilty in their children.

“They are driven, dedicated and competitive,” she said.

203: The number of boys in the tournament.

406: Approximately the number of meals provided for the boys every day by Eat Greek.

1 624: Approximately the number of meals that will be provided throughout the tournament.

4: The number of days of the tournament.

200: Approximately the number of spectators in the crowd at a time, excluding Clifton pupils.

Best school: Clifton, with five wins in the last 10 years.

Biggest competition: Reddam/Bishops.

Major sponsors: Nashua.

16: The number of teams from around the country.

13: The number of players in each team, excluding their managers.

7: The number of players who can play at a time.

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