The event takes place in East London from Saturday to Monday and Madibaz Sport water polo manager Melinda Goosen said they were determined to prove a point this time.
“We have regularly made the top four, usually ending in fourth position, but we are focused on returning with a medal this weekend,” she said.
“Although there are a number of new faces in the squad, the players are extremely committed and there is a very good work ethic in the team.”
She said the squad trained twice a day on a regular basis, before 6am and a second session often ending after 6pm.
“It’s crucial for us to do well as we are looking for a major sponsor to come on board to back the water polo club,” added Goosen.
“We have the players and structures in place, but the team have to organise music trivia evenings and special events to help raise money to compete in the Currie Cup and USSA.”
She said players such as Meghan Maartens, Casey McLeavy, Charne Keen, Hannah Werth, Kelsey Vaughan, Mirricke du Plessis and Nina Cressey would provide the experience, while their biggest challenge was a lack of tournament match practice.
“For example, UCT and Maties [Stellenbosch] play in a very competitive league in the Western Cape. Unfortunately our Nelson Mandela Bay competition isn’t of the same standard.”
Goosen said Madibaz would also be sending a men’s team to USSA, where the main focus would be on learning from the experience as it was almost a completely new-look outfit from 2017.