Schools’ waterpolo action returns to the fore this coming weekend when Paul Roos Gymnasium hosts its annual Pre-Season Water Polo Festival in Stellenbosch.
The two-day event starts on Friday and culminates with an epic clash between South African College High School (SACS), and St Andrew’s College, from the Eastern Cape, the following day at 17:00.
The festival will allow some teams to pick up from where they left off in 2023. For others, there will be an opportunity for new players to gel with the senior guys, while building combinations and working on tactical aspects of the game will be equally important ahead of several big tournaments coming up in the next two months.
Albeit that no champions will be crowned, the hosts and SACS will enter the festival expected to dominate their fixtures and pick up from where they left off last October.
The two sides were neck-and-neck in 2023, despite SACS winning two finals against the side from Stellenbosch in the latter part of the year.
SACS first claimed the Clifton Water Polo Tournament title, defeating the same Paul Roos 7-6 in the final. They repeated that feat against the same opponents shortly afterwards during their home festival, where they overcame their arch-rivals 6-3.
Another team aiming to use the festival to its advantage is St Andrew’s College.
The prestigious school from Makhanda competed against the country’s best last season and will be eager to improve on a promising season which finished with a semi-final spot at the St Stithians Water Polo Invitational. It will also present St Andrew’s with an opportunity to sharpen their skills before they host their water polo tournament later this month.
For the other Cape sides – Wynberg, Bishops, and Rondebosch – catching up or at least putting up a fight against SACS and Paul Roos will be the main objective. Another powerful side, Reddam House Constantia are, without a doubt, the dark horses and could spring a few surprises.
The matches will run for 30 minutes, with two breaks during the day. The organisers have also confirmed to SuperSport Schools that no scores will be kept as the festival is all about preparation for the forthcoming season.
09:00- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs St Andrew’s; 09:30- Wynberg Boys’ High vs Reddam House Constantia; 10:00- Bishops vs Rondebosch; 10:30- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs Wynberg Boys’ High; 11:00- Bishops vs St Andrew’s; 11:30- Reddam House Constantia vs Rondebosch Boys’ High; 12:30- Wynberg vs St Andrew’s; 13:00- Bishops vs Reddam House Constantia; 13:30- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs Rondebosch Boys’ High; 14:00- Wynberg vs Bishops; 14:30- Reddam House Constantia vs St Andrew’s; 15:00- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs Bishops; 16:00- Wynberg vs Rondebosch Boys’ High; 16:30- Reddam House Constantia vs Paul Roos Gymnasium; 17:00- St Andrew’s vs Rondebosch.
09:00- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs St Andrew’s; 09:30– Wynberg Boys’ High vs Reddam House Constantia; 10:00- Bishops vs SACS; 10:30- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs Wynberg Boys’ High; 11:00- Bishops vs St Andrew’s; 11:30- Reddam House Constantia vs SACS; 12:30- Wynberg vs St Andrew’s; 13:00- Bishops vs Reddam House Constantia; 13:30- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs SACS; 14:00- Wynberg vs Bishops; 14:30- Reddam House Constantia vs St Andrew’s; 15:00- Paul Roos Gymnasium vs Bishops; 16:00- Wynberg vs SACS; 16:30- Reddam House Constantia vs Paul Roos Gymnasium; 17:00- St Andrew’s vs SACS.
Avuyile Sawula is a multimedia sports journalist, broadcaster, and writer. He possesses a journalism qualification from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. During his time in the media industry, he has worked for various online media publications covering big matches and events across the country. He also has a broadcasting background having worked as a news journalist at one of Cape Town’s commercial radio stations. His reporting beats include hockey, rugby, water polo, and cricket. Apart from writing, he has a knack for creating sports content, and video editing.