Alexander Turnquest, Dominic Beneby, Alexander Gomez, Gabriel Encinar Czartoryski, Jayden Seymour, Gabriel Sastre, Oliver Roberts, Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield, Aidan Johnson and Dominic Demeritte. Missing are Jahkai Gray and Jelani Grant.
BAHAMAS Aquatics has selected a 12-member team to represent the Bahamas at the Union Americana De Natacio (UANA) IV Pan American Youth Men’s and Women’s Water Polo 17-and-under Championships, scheduled for the National Aquatic Centre in Balmain, Couva, Trinidad and Tobago, August 14-24.
Following a silver medal finish at the 2018 CCCAN tournament in El Salvador, the team qualified for the UANA PanAm Championships. This is the first time the Bahamas Water Polo team will compete in this high-level competition.
Aidan Johnson, Nicolas Wallace-Whitfield, Oliver Roberts, Alexander Turnquest, Jahkai Gray, Dominic Beneby, Gabriel Sastre, Dominic Demeritte, Alexander Gomez, Jelani Grant, Gabriel Encinar Czartoryski and Jayden Seymour make up the team.
Laszlo Borbely will be the head coach and will be assisted by Daniel Stojanovski. The chaperone will be Anitrah Rolle.
FINA certified referee Anthony Knowles will also accompany the team.
The team will play against the national youth teams from the United States, Canada, Peru, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago.
The under-17 Bahamas national water polo team has been very successful in international tournaments. As the under-16 team, they won the gold medal at CARIFTA for three consecutive years (2017, 2018 and 2019), another first for Bahamas Water Polo.
“The Jr PanAm competition will be the toughest and most challenging championship Bahamas Water Polo has ever competed in,” said Chris Illing, the president of the Bahamas Water Polo.
“The level of water polo will be world-class and a good indication on where we stand. But the whole water polo organisation, first and foremost, the kids and also their parents and coaches, are putting a 110 per cent effort in succeeding during the 10-day competition in Trinidad & Tobago.”
The water polo players are training up to five hours per day to achieve the level of fitness and game awareness which is needed to compete at this level.
The team participated in several preparation tournaments as a step to elevate their teamwork and fitness level.
“We again would like to thank the sponsors who helped us to come so far, including Comfort Suites Paradise Island, MedNet Group, Hurricane Hole Development Company, Lowe’s Wholesale, Nassau Agencies as well as many family members, parents and friends who have given financial contributions in person and via the team’s GoFundMe page,” Illing said.