Team Saskatchewan Senior Women • Regina • Water Polo
When Team Saskatchewan Senior Women's water polo team from Regina hits the pool for a practice session, you won't find the athletes treading water.
"We work more and harder than all the other teams," said Cyril Dorgigné, head coach and executive director of Water Polo Sask. "This had been our philosophy since I arrived in Saskatchewan and implemented our high performance program in 2011."
Team Saskatchewan Senior Women is a finalist in the 2017 Team of the Year for the Saskatchewan Sport Awards-an annual awards program of Sask Sport Inc. designed to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of Saskatchewan amateur athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.
The team, which has been together for three years, achieved a remarkable feat last year by becoming the first Saskatchewan team to win gold at the Senior Women National Championship. It was a redemption story for the team, which was still recovering from a tough one-goal loss in the 2016 finals.
Dorgigné said disappointment was huge and it took time to get players to recover mentally. But, he said, they banded together and through a total team effort, were able to take home the top prize. Team Saskatchewan received numerous awards at the tournament including: Most Valuable Player (Rae Leckness), Most Valuable Defensive Player (Blaire McDowell) and Most Valuable Coach (Dorgigné).
"We had a very complementary team with performance players for each role: Kelsey Jensen brought a lot of experience in the goaltending position and we had one of the best hole set in offence with the experience of Rae Leckness," Dorgigné said. "We also had two of the fastest juniors in the country, which brought a lot of intensity in our game that no team could handle for an entire game. Finally, we had no weakness in the pool and on the bench, which made our team unbeatable in 2017."
As Dorgigné explained, the victory was another example of the high level water polo has reached in Saskatchewan. "In water polo, Saskatchewan is now feared throughout the country, in all age groups and genders," he said.
By participating in the sport, Dorgigné said his athletes have gained more than just a gold medal.
"Sport is the articulation of life; it builds the skeleton of success with its values of work, perseverance and commitment, then it teach people that success is actually not the 'end goal' but the 'path' to get there," he said. "In the end, happiness comes more from the appreciation of the hard work done and the share of this work with teammates and opponents than the result itself."
What makes Team Saskatchewan Senior Women #SaskProud?
"In Saskatchewan we overcome challenges by working harder and more than others. And we - Sask athletes and coaches - do that all together. Thank you to all who are supporting water polo in Saskatchewan. If Sask is winning at all levels including the national stage, it's only thanks to the volunteers, coaches and officials and the incredible work done in the clubs."
For more information on our Saskatchewan Sport Awards program please visit www.sasksport.sk.ca/SportAwards. This program can also be found on social media in support of the #SaskSportAwards and the #SaskProud campaign on twitter @CSCSaskatchewan and Facebook CSC Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Lotteries is the main fundraiser for amateur sport in Saskatchewan. On behalf of over 300,000 registered participants, Sask Sport Inc. and its membership of provincial sport organizations, thank you for your support.