Canoeing South Africa
29 August 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
Team SA ready for Canoe Polo Worlds assignment
Durban – The South African Canoe Polo team have arrived in Italy for the
2016 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships and with a good mixture of youth and
experience, are eying a strong showing against the world’s best when the
tournament takes place from 30 August to 4 September.
The team had some difficulty on arrival in Syracuse when their boats did not
arrive at the same time, meaning a shaky start to their stay, however after
their craft were located, the squad got onto the water and started their
preparations for the tournament in conditions different to what they are
“Despite the difficult start to the tour, the guys have settled well and are
just getting used to playing in salt water as opposed to fresh water like we
do back home,” team assistant, Nicole de Bree said.
“The team had a warm up game against Brazil on Sunday which they lost to the
men from South America 2-0.
“The game did however help our guys get used to the conditions as the ball
gets more slippery in salt water.
“We then played another warm up game against Ireland on Monday but scores
were not kept for this match.”
South Africa will have a tough task in their opening game against
Switzerland on Wednesday and with two other tough games lined up, the small
squad of players will need to draw on the experience of those who have
competed in the senior division at World Championships before.
"We have taken a small side of only six players to this world champs,
however we are confident that it is a strong side with each player bringing
a unique skill to the team.
“They complement each other nicely and will be hoping to finish the
tournament in the top 12 while still being happy with a top 16 placement as
the team is quite young at the moment, with the average age of 25 years.
“There are two experienced members in the team who have played in the senior
division before while the other four team members played in the U21 division
at the previous World Champs in 2014,” De Bree added.
South Africa missed out on the World Championships in 2015 but make a
welcome return this year, with the team trying to use their performance at
the World Championships as a means to grow interest in the discipline in
South Africa amongst the youth.
"We are working very hard in growing Canoe Polo in South Africa, with our
focus based mainly on developing the sport at a schools level in KZN and
“We will be holding schools leagues in KZN and Gauteng in the new season
while Chris de Bree will be starting coached sessions at ERK Canoe Club in
Benoni as soon has he gets back from these World Champs to promote the sport
to younger players,” added de Bree.
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South Africa went down to
Brazil 2-0 in their first warm up game ahead of the 2016 ICF Canoe Polo
World Championships in Syracuse, Italy from 30 September to 4 September
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