Claus Kaminsky is the 5th Jeppe water polo player to receive national recognition in water polo this year.
It was announced last week that he is in the squad of 30 players from which two SA under-16 teams to play in the Pan Pacific Games in New Zealand in July will be chosen.
Claus was destined to become a Jeppe water polo player from an early age. He was a top swimmer at Colin Mann Primary School when he was spotted by the Easterns polo people in his grade 6 year and asked to play in their under-13 team at SA Schools that year.
He did well enough there to be included in the Central Gauteng under-13 team the next year, in grade 7. By then his brother, Karl-Heinz, who is a top rower, was at the school, so it was natural that he would follow and, by then he had already played a few games for the Jeppe under-14s.
In the next few years he made the Central Gauteng under-15 and under-16 teams and the Jeppe 1st team in his grade 9 year.
He loves the game, he said. “I’m a pretty good swimmer, but I don’t enjoy swimming up and down all day. Water polo allows be to use my swimming ability, but you also have to be quick-thinking, and physical, it’s the game for me.”
His prowess didn’t come easily though, he spends time in the pool every day working on his fitness and speed. “I’ve had to hold my own with and against older players, so I have to work hard,” he said.
Claus gives a lot of the credit for his success to Jeppe’s first team coach, Mr Dave Hansen. “Mr Hansen makes it very clear what is expected of us to perform well. He has been a father-figure to me. He is not a distant coach, but very much part of the team. That has been very inspiring.”