The Valencian team

More than 40 young waterpolo players aged 12-14 years from 6 clubs in the Valencian region have been battling it out to get a place in the Valencian team since November, having trials to get down to the last 14 players.

The team was finalized in February and English school boy Sammy Lear was amongst them. He started off swimming in Elche club natacion in 2011, then in 2012 went on to play waterpolo for his current Club Waterpolo Elche.

The 14 year old has achieved so much in the last 18 months, playing waterpolo, travelling most weekends to competitions al over the Valencian region and bringing his team to their current position on top of the league for Infantils followed by Turia in second.

Last weekend in Madrid, the Campeonato de Espana Infantils (effectively the Spanish National Championships) started on Thursday 10th April where they played Galicia in their first match and won 15-11. On Friday the match against Cataluña ended with a disappointing 17-1 defeat but on Saturday morning they beat Pais Vasco 8-2. In the afternoon they narrowly beat Ceunta 8-7 putting them through to the semi finals.

Against Madrid, who took the silver medal last year, they won 9-7 giving them a place in the final on Sunday afternoon against the current champions of Spain, Cataluña.

The game started well and with Sammy playing in defence he managed to stop them scoring too many goals – as had happened in the first match – but the match ended with the final score Cataluña 12 Valencia 4.

Comunidad Valencia had never before won a medal of any sort in this competition so history was made with them earning second spot in the competition. Sammy and his team mates also had the pleasure of meeting Rafael Aguilar Morillo – the coach of the Men’s National Spanish team – who was impressed by the standard of all players.

Next to look forward to is BCN Barcelona 2014 in July with his current Club Waterpolo Elche, hoping to be in the top five clubs.

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