Karratha water polo junior hones skills at national youth comp
Karratha teenager Jade Adams travelled thousands of kilometres to Brisbane to compete in inaugural tournament the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships last month.
The 15-year-old, who usually plays in the Karratha Water Polo Association’s junior division, was the only WA female player north of Perth to attend, travelling with Joondalup-based club North Coast Phoenix after spending several months training with Olympian Simone Fountain.
Jade, who is only in her second full season of water polo and mainly plays against older boys in local games, said the week-long tournament had been a good opportunity to test her abilities against skilled girls her own age.
“When Simone first approached us about it, I was a bit nervous because I hadn’t ever versed girls my own age, so I didn’t know how good I actually was and how high my level was expected to be,” she said.
“But I’m really glad I went now, and seeing the level of other girls my age is really good if I want to continue in the sport, to know what my aim should be.”
Jade spent about eight weeks before the tournament training with Fountain, who is now based in Karratha and also plays with the KWPA.
Fountain said Jade was a talented player who had embraced the challenge of competing in a national event for the first time.
“Tournament-style water polo is totally different than coming to training and just doing skills every week, twice a week,” she said.
“Being engaged in that team aspect, there are so many opportunities for growth, and it’s very exciting because it has that pressure element as well.”
She said the association hoped to send more junior players to youth competitions, either in Perth or interstate, in future.
Jade said she planned to keep playing water polo and pass on what she had learnt at the tournament to her fellow junior squad members.
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