Star player groomed for the big stage

KEAGAN MITCHELL

Promising waterpolo player, Logan Isola, 16, from Kommetjie was instrumental in the Western Province under-18 team’s good run at last month’s national championships, in Durban.

The squad returned unbeaten, albeit without a medal as WP could not contest for one due to a technicality.

The rules stipulate that each team must have two goalkeepers. WP fielded one, which left them ineligable to compete for a championship medal

The national tournament also served as trials to selct a squad that will represent South Africa under-18 FINA Youth Championships, in Auckland, in New Zealand, later this year.

Last month, the youngster was part of the SA under-17 girls’ side that won gold medal at the European Union (EU) Nations Cup, in Odense, in Denmark.

They beat Czech Republic 16-3 to clinch the title, following their unbeaten record in group stages and beating England by the same score line in the semi-finals.

Although not an EU-member nation, South Africa was invited to take part and dominated the eight-member competition after scoring 103 and conceded 15 goals.

A former Sun Valley Primary School pupil, the youngster made the side following trials, in Johannesburg, in December.

She was also a member of the squad that whitewashed Zimbabwe 3-0 in a three-match test series, in March.

She was also part of the SA schools’ under-16 side that toured Serbia, last year and has made the WP water polo side, every year since 2013.

A Grade 11 pupil Reddam House Constantia, Logan said she considers it an honour to represent the country and was blessed to be given the opportunity to do so.

“I didn’t keep track of the number of goals that I scored but I walked away from each match feeling confident about my play and I was able to say that I did my job,” she said.

She credits her parents Glenn and Tiffany for helping to motivate and encourage her to chase her dreams.

“Their support is unconditional and I get my determination and commitment from them.

“I have also been privileged to have had coaches who developed my skills and passion for the game,” she said.

Logan said she started playing 2009, following in her sister, Teegan’s footsteps.

“It started when I was in Grade 4. I wanted to try something new and I jumped right in.

“I was the smallest on my school team which consisted of Grade 7s and I was absolutely terrified.

“However, I was hooked from day one, and my passion and love for the sport have kept me going,” she said.

Her father said his daughter has always been a good swimmer and that she could become a great water polo player.

“She is determined, self-motivated individual with an infectious bubbly personality and puts her team before her personal goals.

“As parents, we couldn’t be prouder of how mature she is in setting out her goals and working hard to achieve them,” he said

Although the girls’ under-18 WP side came back from the national tournament without a medal, the WP boys’ squad brought home gold, while their WP men’s A and B sides and the womens’ team won silver.