Catsfield ace gets Olympic call-up

Catsfield's very own Olympian, Jack Waller

Catsfield's very own Olympian, Jack Waller

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The village of Catsfield can proudly lay claim to its very own Olympian.

Jack Waller was one of the lucky 13 players selected to represent Team GB in the men’s water polo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

He told Observer Sport: “It’s been a dream since we got the go ahead that we’re having the Olympics. It will be nerve-wracking, but it’s exciting because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’ve got to make the most of it and do everyone proud.”

Having been part of the Great Britain squad for the last four years and only missed a couple of games in the past 12 months, Waller admits he was confident of being selected, although there was still a nagging doubt.

Great Britain claimed four gold medals in men’s water polo at the early Olympic Games, but have been absent from the competition since 1956.

There are 12 teams in the tournament with the top four in each group going through to the quarter-finals. The event will take place from July 29-August 12.

Born in north London, Waller moved to this area when just a toddler. He went to Catsfield Primary School and Claverham Community College in Battle.

He started off with Hailsham Swimming Club at 10 or 11 before, aged 12, joining Invicta Water Polo Club where he won the Junior National Championship and helped the first team into Division One of the National League.

Waller has based himself in Manchester for the past four years, but has spent six months in Australia with Brisbane Barracudas, represented German First Division club SV Wieden during the 2010/2011 season and has just enjoyed an “amazing” nine months in Barcelona for Sant Andreu.

See tomorrow’s Battle Observer for the full article.