Five years of water polo at Jeppe ended for our matric players on Saturday when the 1st team beat St John’s 9-8 in a thriller. They are going to be missed.
Liam Stott, Rorke Templeton, Calvin Kuperus and, Sebastijan Stojanovic, among others, have led the team to a great deal of success, placing the school firmly in the top 10 in the land. This was confirmed in the holidays when they made into the quarterfinals of the prestigious SACS tournament, losing by 1 goal to eventual finalists St Andrew’s, after beating the eventual winners, SACS, in the pool stages.
We spoke to Calvin Kuperus who, along with Liam Stott, made the “best of tournament team” at SACS. That accolade meant that he has now made the select team all the top tournaments: the Saints Invitational (twice), the KES tournament and, now, the SACS tournament. That’s in addition to being chosen for the SA Schools team at the interprovincial last December.If selected, Calvin will be going to the under-18 SA Schools championships for the second time this year, after representing Gauteng at all the junior age groups earlier on.
He looks back on his five years at Jeppe fondly. “I’ve been part of special group of guys,” he said. “Liam, Sebastijan, Rorke and I have been playing together since we were in primary school, so we have built a special bond. Polo players spend so much time together training and at tournaments that there is a camaraderie that is different to what you find in other sports.”
Calvin did play rugby, eventually making the first team this year, and although he loves the game as well, water polo is his first love. “I have been approached to go to UCT next year on a water polo scholarship, so I’m hoping to do that. I’ll probably play rugby there as well, because I enjoy being a part of the team.”
He will remember the five years at Jeppe as the best of his life, he said. “I couldn’t have wished for a better school,” he said.
Calvin Kuperus’ contribution to the school has been enormous, it’s going to be difficult to replace him.