In their first overseas competition, Barbados’ National Under-14 water polo team finished a commendable second at the just concluded Trinidad and Tobago 2nd annual Water Polo Championships and head coach Natalia Parris is hoping the team’s performance will finally help the sport to gain the recognition it deserves.
After finishing second in their group to advance to the semifinals, the Bajans edged Royhill Seals Coral 13-12 in a competitive encounter to advance to the final.Xavier Smith-Taylor led the way with seven goals, while Nathan James, Jonathan Bryan and Zachary Bellamy each scored two goals.
However, they were unable to replicate that performance, going down 30-6 in a lopsided final to Royhill Seal Amber.That defeat however, did nothing to damper the spirit of the first-time head coach.“I am very, very proud and happy, because the squad only started training together in July. So basically after five months of training, to get these results is very outstanding.
I’m ecstatic right now,” Parris told Barbados TODAY while at Piarco International Airport this evening, shortly before the team boarded its flight back to Barbados.“Out of the seven teams which participated, I would say that about five of them were very competitive, so we really had to fight to medal.”Parris, a member of the senior national water polo team, said she felt it was time water polo was acknowledged as a sport in Barbados.
She said while there was just one water polo club on the island at present – the Barbados Water Polo Club – plans were already underway to increase its popularity.“With this performance we plan to get the word out there about water polo.
In 2016 we are actually planning to start a new development programme, where hopefully we can get more kids interested and then they will come in and learn to play and the sport will continue to grow over the years.“So I am hoping that with this performance we finally get people’s attention and that it helps to grow the sport in Barbados,” Parris noted.