Royal support helps SA water polo team seal Scottish trip | SASCOC - SASCOC

Royal support helps SA water polo team seal Scottish trip

Generous support from HSH Princess Charl├¿ne of Monaco has made it possible for the South African men’s water polo team to travel to Scotland for the 2014 Commonwealth Water Polo Championships which start on Saturday and end on 10 April.

The water polo championships will be held in conjunction with the 2014 Commonwealth Games which will take place in Scotland from 23 July to 3 August.

HSH Princess Charlène, picture right, and who is also a former South African Olympics swimmer where she competed under her maiden name of Whittstock, has pledged to cover not only all the travel costs for the entire team, but will also fund their training camp ahead of the Championships.

This after the team’s chances of competing in the Championships came under threat due to financial constraints.

The Princess Charl├¿ne of Monaco Foundation’s spokesperson in Monaco, Christiane Cane confirmed the Princess’s support, saying, ÔÇ£The Foundation is very proud to support the members of the South African men’s water polo team.┬áÔÇ£By allowing them to participate in the Commonwealth Water Polo Championships, the Foundation wishes to give them the opportunity to represent their country and to experience the sense of pride that every sportsman feels during international competition.

“These top athletes know how to unify personal investment and teamwork.┬áThe Foundation shares with them the same sport values and wishes them a very successful competitionÔÇØ.

Dominique Donner Rodd, Project Manager for the Foundation in Southern Africa, said: ÔÇ£There was such excitement among the players when we told them the Princess had stepped in to help. Representing their country has been a lifelong dream for most of these players and the Princess and her Foundation have made it a reality for themÔÇØ.

Chief Executive Officer of Swimming South Africa, Shaun Adriaanse said they are ÔÇ£extremely grateful and appreciate the support provided by the HSH Princess Charl├¿ne of Monaco Foundation for our water polo team to participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Water Polo Tournament in AberdeenÔÇØ.

Adriaanse added Swim SA is looking forward to a continued partnership with the Foundation to enhance South African aquatic sport, saying: ÔÇ£We are implementing a strategy to elevate the international competitive performance of our water polo teams over the next few years and this support will certainly have a significant impact on this programme.ÔÇØ

The first Commonwealth water polo championships were held in 2002 in Manchester, which saw South Africa placed seventh out of nine teams in the men’s championship.

The second Commonwealth water polo championships were held in 2006 in Perth, with South Africa moving up the rankings when they were placed fourth out of seven teams.

This year’s championships will be the third of such an event and will be held in Aberdeen. There will be seven teams competing in these championships: Scotland, England, Wales, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Malta.

The event will be held at the new Aberdeen Sports Village Aquatics Centre. This year’s Championships are being regarded as a homecoming for water polo, which originated in Scotland.

The men’s squad for Scotland

Paul Martin ÔÇô Coach, Matt Kemp, captain, Nardus Badenhorst, Chris Baker, Franco Conversano, Richard Downes, Jonathan Hock, Nicholas Hock, Nick Molyneux, Simon Purchase

Picture: Eric Mathon/Palais Princier de Monaco