THE 2019 edition of the Pan American Youth Water Polo Championships will be held, at the National Aquatic Centre in Couva, from August 14-24.

It will be the first time these championships will be held in this country.

Jerry Chin Lee, chairman of the local organising committee, said, “TT won the hosting of the Pan American Youth Water Polo Championships, this is a big deal. The way Pan Am Youths work is that the Pan Am Youth Championships is actually the qualifying event for the World Juniors.”

The fifth FINA Youth Water Polo World Championships will be held in 2020.

These Pan Am Championships would be one of the biggest in recent history with eight countries participating.

USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Bahamas, along with TT will compete in the Under-17 boys category, while USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Peru and TT will participate in the Under-17 girls division.

This would be the third major international water polo championship to be hosted by TT, following the 2017 UANA Cup and the 2017 Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) Championships.

Water polo in TT has enjoyed a measure of success over the last ten years that few expected. The water polo programme has been one of the best kept sporting secrets coming out of TT in recent memory. At all age groups whether among boys or girls, TT is growing into a regional powerhouse defeating heavyweight Puerto Rico in 2015 and 2019 to take CCCAN gold.

Another major highlight was qualifying for the FINA World Youth Championship in 2012, where TT gave a good account of themselves falling just short against teams like Iran, Romania, Colombia and Russia.

This year, TT would be hoping to emulate and even better the 2011 team that finished fourth at the Pan Am Youth Championships and went on to represent the nation at the first FINA World Youth Championships in Perth, Australia, in 2012. TT are working hard preparing for these championships and would be looking to make a mark, boosted by a strong showing of support from the home crowd.