IT was a world cup debut to savour for two Durban North residents, Paige Waberski and Tannah Swart at the recent Federation of International Touch (FIT) Youth Touch World Cup in Malaysia.
The Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School Grade 11 learners represented the South African U18 team which secured a third place finish in Malaysia, earning the team a bronze medal.
“It was an awesome experience. It was a super effort from all the girls because we beat Singapore 5-3 in the third place match. This was my first world cup and one I’ll certainly remember and savour. My favourite game was against New Zealand (who finished runners-up), despite losing, I had one of my best games and I side-stepped a Kiwi player,” Swart laughed.
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“The team spirit was excellent throughout the tournament and that was down to the coach who was insistent on team bonding. We went through loads of boot camps and practise sessions which led to us being so close-knit,” she said.
For Waberski, the tournament was also a way to dream of a possible call-up to the SA team ahead of the senior world cup next year.
“I loved every moment of the world cup. My two favourite opponents that we played were New Zealand and USA. I’d love to play in the senior tournament next year but it depends on my Matric year but I would love to play for my country,” Waberski explained. “Both Tannah and I are focused on the upcoming inter-provincials. We are both part of the U17 squads and we’d love to win gold but we know the competition will be tough but we’ll try our best.”