WPC Launches New 16U National Teams Pilot Program in 2024

Jan. 19, 2024

Water Polo Canada is gearing up for an exciting venture as it officially announces its intention to compete in the upcoming 16U World Championships. With a rich history and a commitment to fostering young talent, the decision to participate in this prestigious event underscores the organization's dedication to developing and promoting water polo in the country.

Expanding opportunities for young athletes, the 16U World Championships provide a unique platform for emerging water polo talents to showcase their skills on the international stage. This tournament not only fosters healthy competition but also facilitates cultural exchange and the sharing of experiences among young athletes from various corners of the globe.

The Men’s 16U event will be hosted in Malta from June 18 to the 24th, while the women will be in Turkey from June 28 to July 4th. Water Polo Canada will be hosting simple programs to minimize costs to participants and interference with academic requirements, with a drop into the tournament a few days prior and a return home upon completion.

Scouting for these teams will take place in the 17U NCL, utilizing one weekend for Western Athletes and one event for Eastern athletes. They will be as listed below:

  • Edmonton, February 16-18
  • Markham, February 2-4 or Olympium (Toronto), March 1-3, depending on scout availability.

Players who wish to compete in the Age Group National Team (AGNT) Programs (including this new pilot 16U program) must fit the following criteria:

  1. Participate in their local NDC (or regional National Development Centre, where applicable), provincially recognized program or SNT Training Centre
  2. Be a member of their Provincial Team (where applicable)
  3. Be competing in the NCL.

Provincial Team Participation:
Athletes competing at the Women’s 16U World Championships will be unable to compete at the National Provincial Championships due to conflicting dates.

Athletes competing at the Men’s event will be expected to represent their provincial teams during the National Provincial Championships as per point 2 of eligibility.

Athletes may be selected for AGNT programs (including this new pilot 16U program) outside of the process described above in exceptional circumstances, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • High school students outside of Canada: Canadian athletes located internationally and demonstrating a high potential may be scouted through video feeds and live streams.

Water Polo Canada will send letters to selected athletes by March 15, 2024, and the final roster will be released upon athletes accepting their positions.
The coaching and support staff for these programs will be announced soon.

Please note: While Canada is officially invited to the Women’s Tournament, World Aquatics has not yet confirmed Canada’s invitation to compete in the Men’s 16U World Championships; plans are to send a Team to this event should Canada be invited. We await imminent confirmation of this official invitation and will publish an update on this program once this information is confirmed.

Additionally, Participation in this program and competition will largely be self-funded by selected and participating athletes. Water Polo Canada will invoice for the attached costs once they accept their invitation to their Team. Water Polo Canada will exert every effort to ensure program costs are as reasonable as possible given the event-related expenses (travel, accommodations, etc.). Water Polo Canada will not earn any profit from this program, and any likely surplus from collected participation fees (if applicable) will be returned to participants upon completion of the program. While Water Polo Canada plans to send women’s and men’s teams to these 16U competitions, the final rollout of such plans and programming will depend upon reaching enough selected athletes to accept their invitation to participate in each program. Water Polo Canada reserves the right to modify or cancel planned programming accordingly.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Andrew Muir at ahmuir@waterpolo.ca.

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