Joel Blanco has been making his mark in swimming as well as water polo. (Special to The News)

Joel Blanco has been making his mark in swimming as well as water polo. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge athlete Joel Blanco selected in the Water Polo Canada’s National water polo team

To compete in the Pan American Youth Championships next year

Maple Ridge’s Joel Blanco has been selected for Water Polo Canada’s Youth National water polo team.

Blanco, who has been swimming with the Haney swim club, tried water polo and fell in love with the sport.

“I started swimming with the Haney Neptunes is 2009, then I eventually tried water polo and loved the sport. As my skills developed I joined Pacific storm water polo a high performance team based out of metro Vancouver,” he said.

Blanco and several others attended a full day try-out session in Richmond and at UBC this year. Water Polo Canada then held a few of these sessions across the country and then based on their evaluations selected the team. Apart from Blanco, two other athletes from British Columbia, Brandeau Botica and Giancarlo Marquez, have been selected for the 13-person team.

The team will now compete in the Pan American Youth Championships, initially scheduled to be held in Bauru, Brazil, from January 9-16, 2022. The championship games have been postponed to May or June 2022 due to the sanitary conditions on the ground and travel restrictions.

ALSO READ: Haney Neptunes club teams place second in regionals

“It is disappointing that the trip has been rescheduled due to COVID Travel restrictions from January, to May or June 2022,” said Blanco, however he is very excited about the selection.

“I think I feel most comfortable and ease in the water and its fun,” said the 17-year-old Samuel Robertson technical school student.

ALSO READ: Haney Seahorse club swimmers competing all over Lower Mainland

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