At the recent annual Maties Sport Awards evening, Maties Water Polo player Jason Evezard was called to the stage twice – once to receive full colours for his water polo achievements and once more to receive an award as top academic achiever.
Despite travelling abroad a couple of times to represent South Africa internationally, this second-year BCom Actuarial Science student at Stellenbosch University still managed to maintain an academic average of 86%. His first-year average was 91%.
“It is all about balance and being organised and focused. Playing water polo is a passion and a very important part of my life. I believe that a healthy mind, body and spirit is key to a healthy lifestyle," says Jason.
His first international duty of 2017 involved travelling to Poland to represent South Africa at the EU Cup of Nations in May. There he made a big impression by scoring the most goals of the tournament. South Africa won silver.
“I was surprised and extremely happy. It was great to be acknowledged after all the hard work and training and being able to make a positive contribution to the team."
After captaining the SA U/20 team at the FINA Junior World Championships in Serbia in August, Jason travelled directly to Taiwan to compete in the World Student Games (Summer Universiade) in Taipei, alongside fellow Maties Lood Rabie, Lwazi Madi, Nicholas Downes, Jordan Rumbelow and Cameron Sugden.
There he scored 19 of South Africa's 53 goals, also making him the second highest goal scorer at the World Student Games.
“It's an honour to represent SA internationally in a sport that I am passionate about. It has given me the opportunity to meet and play against many top water polo players, as well as form friendships with people throughout South Africa as well as all over the world."
Jason, who matriculated from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 2015, started playing water polo at the age of 11.
His top highlights include being selected to represent South Africa for the first time when he was 15 years old at the Tri Nations U/18 tournament in Australia in 2013, as well as being selected to the SA Senior Men's team at the age of 18 for the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Italy in 2016.
His ultimate goal is to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games.
Apart from spending the necessary time in front of the books, Jason trains approximately 16 hours per week which includes gym, swimming and skills sessions.
He doesn't mind though. For him, there is no downside to playing water polo.
“I am keen on most water sports which includes surfing, skiing and wakeboarding. I also enjoy music and play the violin and piano."
- On home soil, the Maties Water Polo men's team won the University Sport South Africa (USSA) tournament in October.