Story contributed by the NUS Water Polo Team
The NUS-Great Eastern Water Polo Challenge was sparked by the imagination of a bunch of passionate Water Polo players in Singapore 6 months ago. (Photo courtesy of Bryon Teo/NUS)
Eight tertiary teams will slug it out between January 13th and 22nd for a place in the final of the NUS-Great Eastern Water Polo Challenge.
With the removal of Water Polo from the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) sporting calendar, there was no longer an avenue for promising and talented tertiary students to further develop their talent and passion in the sport.
To fill that gap, NUS have created this tournament for budding young water polo players in tertiary institutions to showcase and develop their talents and help elevate the profile of the sport and bring about a resurgence of the sport at both the tertiary and national level.
The efforts of NUS have since been recognized by the IVP Council with the inclusion of Water Polo into the IVP sporting calendar for the next academic year.
This tournament was entirely conceived, planned and brought to fruition by a group of enthusiastic students from NUS within a span of less than 6 months.
On the difficulties faced by his team in organizing this event, Matthew Chew, NUS Team Captain, said, "We had a hard time convincing the school that students can actually organize such a large scale tournament in such a short period of time. We nearly gave up as we were unable to secure sponsorship as most companies were tightening their belts in light of the current economic climate. But we were glad that Great Eastern Life and the other sponsors believed in and supported us."
Team Manager, Andre Teo, further added that the team was inspired by Singapore's successful bid for the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. "Through the organization of such a tournament, members of the team have had the opportunity to hone not only their playing skills but also their leadership and organizational skills. This will serve us well as future leaders not only in sports but also elsewhere."
This view was mirrored by the team's Secretary, Bryon Teo, who believed that the success of the event will inspire the next generation of sports leaders to dare to dream and to turn their dreams into reality.
Over the next two weeks, spectators will be able to catch top athletes in action including players who were part of the Singapore team which successfully defended their SEA Games title two years ago.
Lin Diyan, who was part of that team, is eagerly looking forward to the tournament. "The quality of the teams involved makes it exciting not just for the players involved but also the spectators watching the games."
Nigel Tay, who was the youngest member of that team, added: "We have been training really hard throughout the holidays for this competition. I really cannot wait for it to start!"
Besides the two pair of brothers (Lin Diyan, Lin Diyang and Andre Teo, Bryon Teo) who are stalwarts for the NUS Team, there will be a pair of brothers who will be lining up against each other during the tournament.
Sean and Willy Peh will be wearing the colours of NUS and Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) respectively. Sean is unfazed by the prospect of facing his elder brother in the pool, "We are brothers but in the pool, we will fight tooth and nail to secure victory for our teams. To pull off a win over my elder brother's team will make the victory even sweeter!"
So come on down to NUS Sports and Recreational Centre's Swimming Pool to catch all eight tertiary teams in action as they attempt to stake their claim to be the best tertiary team in Singapore!
This tournament is presented by Great Eastern Life. It is also sponsored by NewUrbanMale and supported by Singapore WaterPolo and Zouk.
The tournament will be held at the SRC Swimming Pool, NUS, from the 13th to 23rd of January 2009. To find out more about the tournament and the fixtures, please visit their facebook group here.
Fixtures (all games at NUS Sports and Recreation Centre)
Jan 13th, Tuesday
1700-1800 NUS vs SMU
1800-1900 SP vs RP
1900-2000 NTU vs SIM
2000-2100 NP vs NYP
Jan 15th, Thursday
1700-1800 NUS vs NTU
1800-1900 SP vs NP
1900-2000 SMU vs SIM
2000-2100 NYP vs RP
Jan 17th, Saturday
1700-1800 NUS vs SIM
1800-1900 SP vs NYP
1900-2000 NTU vs SMU
2000-2100 RP vs NP
Jan 20th, Tuesday
1700-1800 Group A (3rd) vs Group B (4th)
1800-1900 Group A (4th) vs Group B (3rd)
1900-2000 Group A (1st) vs Group B (2nd)
2000-2100 Group A (2nd) vs Group B (1st)
Jan 22nd, Thursday
1500-1630 7th/8th playoff
1630-1800 5th/6th playoff
Jan 23rd, Friday
1500-1630 Bronze playoff
1630-1800 Gold/Silver playoff (final)