Four water polo players – Lwazi Madi, Cameron Laurenson, Jason Evezard and Ross Stone – two coaches – Cedric Finch (swimming) and Vaughn Marlow (water polo) and long serving Maties Sport Club Manager Candice Williams (women's water polo team manager) – will all fulfil life-long Olympic Games ambitions.
Williams is the current Maties Aquatics club manager.
“The magnitude of this Olympic opportunity hasn't really sunk in yet... I know flights are booked and we are scheduled to fly out on 15 July, but it still seems so unreal!" said Williams.
“For any sports person, the Olympics is the dream and now for our water polo players and team management it is a reality! As a sports administrator, I am extremely humbled to have been selected to be on this journey with the RSA water polo women who are going to the Olympics for the first time in South African Sport history!
“I am also extremely proud that as the Maties Aquatics Club Manager I will get to experience this opportunity to represent my country, in a pandemic no less, alongside our coaches Cedric Finch and Vaughn Marlow and our student-athletes, club members and alumni. A huge thank you to Stellenbosch University and Maties Sport for supporting us through and in a global pandemic so we are able to reach the pinnacle of Sport, which is the Olympic Games," she added.
Madi, who will lead the SA men's water polo team said: “Being chosen to go to the Olympics is a dream come true. Looking back at that first time I watched the Olympics as a young boy, I always wanted to partake in the games myself, but I never thought that I would have the opportunity to do that. Being presented with this opportunity has shown me just how much hard work really does pay off and I can't wait to finally live my childhood dream."
Chief Director of Maties Sport, Ilhaam Groenewald said: “Stellenbosch University, Maties Sport has a strong and rich water polo profile, built over many decades. To have some of our student-athletes, alumni, coaches, and sport management staff, representing Team South Africa at the most prestigious sport event any sportsperson can dream of, is a dream come true, not just for them, but for the whole university, their families, friends, and support teams.
“We are truly proud and grateful for this amazing opportunity, memories that will last a lifetime and to be shared with many generations.
“Do you #MaroonMachine magic, splashed with #GreenAndGold."
Alumni going to the Olympic Games are Keenan Horne, Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Glasby, Erin Christie (Hunter), Taryn Mallett (all hockey); Emma Chelius (swimming); Georgia Moir, Megan Sileno (Schooling), Duncan Woods (water polo).
Photo: Lwazi Madi and Cameron Laurenson