NYSI IHL Water Polo League
The National University of Singapore (NUS) team.
From June to July 2018, the National Youth Sports Institute (NYSI) organised its inaugural water polo league for institutes of higher learning (IHLs).
Local university and polytechnic water polo teams, who usually only have the annual Singapore University Games (SUniG) or POL-ITE Games respectively to compete in apart from school invitationals, saw the NYSI League as a great additional opportunity to spar with one another.
"My team actually treated this league as one of our main competitions," said Gerald Sim of the National University of Singapore (NUS). "With an extra competition to work towards, there is definitely more excitement for each athlete and the team had more motivation to train hard."
NUS emerged tops in the six-team round-robin tournament, which also included Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
SMU were runners-up, while NTU took third place.
"The incorporation of the NYSI league boosts the tertiary water polo scene tremendously," said SMU captain Ang Wan Loong. "Without it, we usually only participate in one major competition a year, which means a lot of downtime for the water polo scene."
"I hope that more of these leagues will take place and on a regular basis, as it gives the schools' water polo teams something to look forward to and to find purpose in our training."
NP captain Don Tan echoed similar sentiments.
He said: "The league has helped us to prepare for POL-ITE as it allows us to have another opportunity to practise and put to use the things that we have learnt in training. It also serves as another way to know which areas we are lacking in."
NYP captain Eugene Tan also added that the league was good exposure for their players who are newer to the sport.
"For the new players, it gives them a whole new playing experience," said Eugene. "They feel the difference playing in the game rather than having to play among ourselves as we know each others' weaknesses or strengths."
"For the older players, it helps us to have a much closer understanding between each other, and not only that, the coach would have a chance to create new plays."
The Singapore Management University (SMU) team.
The Republic Polytechnic (RP) team.
The Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) team.