By Michael Musalem
When Goran Slavkovic and Sasko Tracjevski were tasked with the duty of establishing a recreational water polo program at Ryerson, they had just one goal in mind — to play water polo.
“When I first saw these guys seven years ago, they just wanted to play,” said Slavkovic. “And this has become one of, if not the only recreational program where you can come out and just play. To me it doesn’t get much better than that.”
With the program growing on a weekly basis and the skill development that’s been taking place every year, the Ryerson water polo program is now looking to find a place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) as a legitimate varsity team.
Currently there are seven teams in the OUA.
The players are excited at the thought of representing their school on a bigger stage and believe that they have the tools to compete.
“From the talent that has been coming out, it looks pretty promising,” said Joe Kelly, a member of the program for five years. “There are some dedicated people here. The skill is definitely getting better week-by-week.”
The improved skills can be largely credited to the two dedicated coaches who show up with new drills and tips two times a week, every week.
“Not only have Sasko and Goran been incredibly helpful with coaching but they’re also two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” said Kelly. “Ryerson couldn’t be more lucky to have these guys coaching water polo.”
The team is looking to play in their first ever exhibition game this semester. The verdict as to whether York will be ready to compete is still unknown, however, Slavkovic insists that the group at Ryerson wants to compete no matter who the opponent is.
“We are definitely ready. We actually have a really strong lineup of players this year,” he said. “The guys definitely want to compete. I think the school wants to see some commitment and that’s what we’re getting ready to do through these exhibition games — show that we have what it takes.”
Though both the date and opponent are unknown, the coaches and players are confident they will play their first ever exhibition game this year and that it’s only a matter of time before Ryerson will compete in the OUA.