Five minutes with TuksWaterpolo

Caitlyn Walsh

Perdeby recently spoke to TuksWaterpolo manager about the sport and what it entails to be on the team.


What does TuksWaterpolo entail as a sport and what can it offer students?
Waterpolo is a very diverse sport which not only focuses on physical strength but also on mental capabilities as well as team work. We find that the teamwork dynamic of the sport gives a very enriching feel to our players as everyone feels involved regardless of skill level.


What do the training sessions involve and where do sessions take place?Our sessions typically consist of a swim set, or some form of activity related to increasing our fitness levels. Thereafter we focus on ball skills and body positioning through passing, shooting, wrestling or game situation drills. And we typically end off with either practice matches or some form of set up drills to get everyone involved. All our training take[s] place at the 50m pool on the sports campus.


What benefits are there to water polo?
TuksWaterpolo is the only operating water polo club in the Pretoria region which caters for everyone, from scholars to students and even those outside of university. The biggest benefit for us is that we train and compete throughout the entire year [as] our pool [is] heated for the TuksSwimming club and we are entered into the Johannesburg Summer and Winter Leagues, as well as being able to compete in three tournaments throughout the year as TuksWaterpolo.


Is TuksWaterpolo only for competitors or can students take part for enjoyment?
TuksWaterpolo is open for everyone. We have a vast group of students from those who have been playing for most of their lives to those who have just started. We don’t want to push anyone away and make our club seem elitist as we want to help grow the sport as much as possible. We also have students who want to [play] it more socially and come whenever they are able to do so and they also have the option to play the weekly matches or not.


How can a student join TuksWaterpolo and what are the membership fees?
Students can join at any time throughout the year, however, is preferable to join in either January or July. Anyone who is interested just needs to come down for a few sessions to see whether they enjoy the environment and the style of training we have and only thereafter we will ask them to register. The registration process is all online and is operated by TuksAquatics. The fees for all students [are] currently R1,150 for the year which includes the ability to use the facility and equipment, being eligible to play in both the Summer and Winter league fixtures as well as being eligible to play in any of the tournaments we enter into. There is also a scholar option at R350, which is only available for those who are still in school and only allows them to make use of the facilities for training.


Are there different teams for women and men?
We do have a men’s and women’s team, with the men having a 2nd team. Everyone trains together so that we all get the most out of a training session as well as allowing everyone to stay social among the club. Each team competes in different levels of the Joburg Summer League and then everyone is combined for the Winter League. This year will be the first time we will try to send two competitive men sides to USSA.


What do you consider to be your favourite aspect of TuksWaterpolo?
My favourite aspect of TuksWaterpolo is the fact that our club is open to anyone. We find that those who want to just come and try out the sport feel at home instantly and basically has everyone around them trying to help coach them, pretty much the best one-on- one coaching a beginner could ask for. We are also a very social group and we try to meet up as much as possible outside of the pool area and, again, we try to get everyone involved as often as possible.


Image: Zanna Linde

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