I am still pinching myself!
I have achieved my goal and the years of hard work have paid off. Here is my story:
Hi, I am Ella Pollock. Since being named in a NZ Squad four years ago in Dec 2014, with the goal to compete at the 4th FINA World Youth Women’s Water Polo Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, our squad of originally 40 girls has been reduced and a team of 14 has finally been named and yes I am incredibly proud to be on that list!
This journey has had it’s highs and lows, a high, competing for the first time in NZ colours in the Sydney Youth Festival in 2017. This was significant for me as I had missed out on attending the previous international tournament the year before due to a shoulder injury. After a 12 month period of rehabilitation and lots of patience and support from my coaches and physios, I have slowly been able to recover and return to being stronger and fitter than before.
I was born and am breed in Mount Maunganui and am currently in Year 13 at Mt Maunganui College. I have tried most sports and in the last few years I have needed to make some big choices about what to focus on. I have chosen Water Polo because I love the team culture, the amazing skill set required and the demanding level of fitness. I enjoy pushing myself and set high expectations when training and competing.
Until this year I have proudly represented Tauranga Water Polo at age group levels and now train and play for the Atlantis Club in Auckland to help me achieve my goal of representing NZ at the 2018 World Youth Champs.
With the team having just been announced and less than a month before departing the intensity of training increases as do the financial stresses. Being the only player not living or schooling in Auckland, I will be travelling to and from Auckland multiple times per week – a huge thanks to my drivers! The cost of the tour and travel costs to and from Auckland are difficult to meet.
As a family of two, my mum is my primary support person, I look up to and admire her as she is always there encouraging me to strive for my goals. Along with the support of my coaches, teammates, family and friends, this goal has been achievable.