Valuable experience gained in Italy | SASCOC - SASCOC

Valuable experience gained in Italy

The South African canoe polo team have ended the 2010 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in 19th position.

Although this wasn’t the result they aspired towards, they have left Italy all the richer in international match experience and knowing what needs to be done ahead of the 2012 ICF World Championships to be held in Madrid, Spain.

The South African canoe polo team have been in Europe for just under three weeks taking part in in three different tournaments, De Paddle in Belgium and the Bologna tournament in Italy, before moving on to the World Championship in Milan. The team, consisting of Kade Burnett, Denzil Smith, Jordan Wallace, Dean Oellerman, Matt Swemmer, Dale Morphew, Clive Whitton, Chad Andrews and Kevin Meier (coach), used the pre-World Championship tournaments and training time to work on the structure of their attack and defence as well solidifying their game plan.

The pinnacle of the tour was the World Championships. The Championships were staged at a world class venue which included four pitches set alongside each other, each with its own grandstand.

Team South Africa drew and faced an extremely tough pool at this year’s World Champs, with teams including France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and Russia. In the end it was it left to two teams from this pool, Germany and France, to fight it out for the gold medal, with France trumping Germany, 4-2.

The South African teams played some very competitive games, but the unfortunate timing of penalty offences saw the team being edged out of their pool, ending 19th overall after an 11-5 victory over Chinese Taipei in the play-off stages.

Although the team did not achieve the top 12 position that they had hoped for, this time spent playing at the international level has laid a solid foundation from which to work off ahead of the 2012 World Championships.

CSA General Manager, Graham Bird, was positive about the state of South African Canoe Polo: ÔÇ£It has been great to see the effort made by the Canoe Polo players and committee over the last year in growing the sport. We hope that this dedication and enthusiasm will continue through to the 2012 World Championships, as well as boiling over to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund CSA Canoe Polo development plan, which is earmarked to take off shortly.ÔÇØ