It’s an encouraging era for Scottish water polo with three teenagers, Dominque Zahra (St Thomas of Aquins), Ben Scott (Portobello High School) and Matthew Crighton (Forfar Academy), all members of the Scottish senior team, Caledonia.
Dominique, just 15, and 16-year-old Ben have a lot to look forward to in 2017 as they are both members of the GB squad for the European Under-17 Championships in Croatia in May.
Matthew has recently celebrated two awards – 2016 Scottish Junior Player of the Year and the 2016 East District Junior Player Trophy and he has also been selected for the GB Talent programme.
He started playing the sport at Menzieshill as a 13-year-old but moved to Dunfermline around a year ago.
“I was quite a good swimmer with Forfar Falcons but then went to the water polo club in Dundee,” he explained. “After just a few weeks I was asked to trial for Scotland.
“I switched to Dunfermline because of the better training and I’m in the water at least three times a week. School was great. They gave me time off whenever I needed it.”
Dominique is the youngest member of the Scottish senior team and was also spotted early as a talent in the making.
A member of Warrender, he followed in the wake of his brother, Jean-Luc, who is now the club’s Under-16 coach. Neal Rayner is the Warrender head coach and he recalled: “I first saw Dominique playing when he was ten.
“He was so good that he was in our senior aquad by the time he was 12. That’s the first time ever someone so young has made the team.
“It’s great that Scotland has three teenagers all at British level. I think it is the best ever representation.”
Ben is a Portobello Club player – and his school has a strong tradition in the sport.