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Perse School pupil Aryan Govender makes age group debut for England at international water polo event

The Perse School’s Aryan Govender made his debut for the England Under-14’s water polo squad at an international tournament in Spain last month.

The Year 9 pupil played for the England Eagles at the prestigious HaBaWaBa competition in Barcelona with his side facing opponents from top club teams from the host country, as well as France, Portugal and Andorra.

In the initial group stages of the tournament, Govender’s Eagles claimed a totla of two victories – a 6-5 win over CN Caballa A and an 11-1 triumph at the expense of French side Team Edelweiss – as they came fourth in their pool.

The Perse School's Aryan Govender made his England debut. Picture: Contributed
The Perse School's Aryan Govender made his England debut. Picture: Contributed

As a result, they moved into the silver section for the rest of the event and ended up facing their squad-mates, the England Lions, in the 11th-place play-off, which they eventually lost 10-7.

Govender said of that particular match up: “It’s funny that we ended up playing the Lions, who were representing England’s northern talent centres, as it was a battle of north versus south.

“I know quite a few of their players, so it was a very interesting game.”

Govender, who plays for Watford’s Under-16 team in the London League and his East region age group side, found taking part in HaBaWaBa was a big learning curve.

He added: “It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. The weather was much better than it was here as well.

“The standard of water polo was extremely high.

“The Spanish club sides were much more competitive than clubs in England, but Spain are the number one ranked country in the world.

“We played Malaga’s girls team in the group stage and they beat us – they were very good and ended up finishing fourth overall.

“I learned a lot from the competition that I can incorporate into my game to help me improve, and I also made a lot of new friends, so it was very worthwhile.”

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