Randy's Rookies: Max Schapowal, water polo
Published Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:29PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2012 4:42PM EDT
He's 14 -- and he's good at what he does.
Max Schapowal has been selected to be part of Canada's national water polo team training camp; not bad for someone who took up the sport only two years ago.
It was around that time that Max felt he needed a change.
“I was swimming for about five years, and I got kind of tired,” he said. “I got introduced to water polo. Ever since, I found it fun. It's a good sport.”
He's currently at the cadet level at Dollard Water Polo, but has spent some time at the under-16 and under-18 level, as well.
“He has the physical tools for water polo,” said D.D.O. water polo coach Brian Parillo. “His body type is exactly what we need. Conventional water polo used to be more water guys, but now we're looking for longer, lankier players because they have more mobility in the water, are able to take space and can cover more ground.”
To be successful in water polo, a player must have mobility, but that's only half of it, said Parillo.
“The special thing about Max is his intensity, drive,” he said. “You see him in the game really get lost in the game and go 100 per cent.”
Parillo said that drive is necessary because in order to advance in the sport, a player has to make sacrifices – hours are spent in the pool day in, day out.
Max said he doesn’t mind, because it is so different from competitive swimming.
“You need a lot more endurance, because swimming, you get to swim and you take a little break, and in water polo there's not much break,” he said.
The sport has even become a family affair, with his sister, Madison, following in his footsteps.
“I thought it was really cool because he's doing a great job and (I thought) maybe I could get there soon too,” said Madison.
And it’s clear Max is indeed doing a great job -- he was the only 14-year-old to play in the national development player league against teams from Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and was also at the under-16 nationals in Victoria, B.C. in May.
Max said his sights are set on one thing.
“I hope to go onto the national team and represent Canada in Olympics,” he said.