One on One with Dayne Jagga

Sat, 08/03/2014 - 14:00
  • Dayne Jagga
  • Dayne Jagga
  • Dayne Jagga
  • Dayne Jagga
  • Dayne Jagga

Clifton School’s matric student Dayne Jagga has made a name for himself in the National water polo circuit. His ability to deliver countless match winning performances for his prolific Clifton 1st polo team is a great feat.

Dayne attributes his success to his Clifton teammates and his Coach Brad Rowe. Brad Rowe describes him as the perfect specimen as he stands at almost 2 m and swims 100m in 54 seconds. “His attitude is of a player who asks to train rather than gets told to” and in his 20 years of Coaching rated him as the best schoolboy he’s ever trained.

Dayne has been part of numerous tournament teams and has won quite a healthy amount of tournaments with his school Clifton.

His recent selection for the SA men’s side for the Commonwealth games in Scotland comes as no surprise. Dayne will also feature in the SA U18 group that will travel to Istanbul for the FINA World men’s youth champs.

Attributes
Height 196cm
Position Centre Forward
Acheivements
KZN schools swimming team from u12 to u16
KZN schools water polo teams from u13 to u19
SA u18 water polo team, competed in Perth 2012
SA u20 water polo team, competed in Hungary 2013
SA schools forward of the tournament 2013
SA men’s water polo team for Commonwealth Games, 2014
SA U18 FINA youth champs team to compete in Istanbul 2013
SA Schools 2013 tournament team
SAC Shield 2012 tournament team
KES 2013 tournament team
Clifton 2013 tournament team
PBHS tournament team 2013

We chat to Dayne on his water polo career and we get some insights on his future plans, as well as what has attributed to his current success.

What are your earliest water polo memories and when did you start taking the sport seriously?
Dayne Jagga: I began playing water polo in Grade 6 at my primary school, DPHS. I played all sports at primary school - it was only when I came to Clifton in Grade 8 did I begin to train properly and play seriously under the coaching of Mr Rowe.

What are your short term and long terms goals in terms of water polo, would you like to play professionally or do you have other interests?
Dayne Jagga: My short term goals are constantly changing but at the moment my short term goal is to make the men’s national side to go to World Champs next year in Kazan, Russia. My long term goals are to play in a professional league in either Europe or Australia. I would also like to study and play for an American University.

Playing and training with senior mens players has also influenced me massively because of the way they conduct themselves and I look up to many of the senior players.

Who has been your biggest role model or positive influence for your water polo success?
Dayne Jagga: Everyone around me. My Clifton teammates have had a massive influence on my success; training with them every day of every week has made this sport so much more interesting and fun and they never fail to motivate me. Mr Rowe has obviously had a huge impact on my success. When I arrived at Clifton in Grade 8, talking to the men’s national coach was intimidating, never mind playing for him!

Playing and training with senior mens players has also influenced me massively because of the way they conduct themselves and I look up to many of the senior players. My parents have had the biggest influence on me. They have not only travelled the country to watch me play, my parents have toured internationally with me. My mom and dad are very special to me and I have no doubt that without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Looking at the year ahead how do you feel the exit of Brad Rowe will affect your water polo season personally?
Dayne Jagga: The exit of Mr Rowe will (fortunately) not have such a negative impact on me because of my limited time left at Clifton. Clifton is losing a great asset and I’m sure everyone can agree that the next coach has very big shoes to fill. He has done so much for Clifton and for everyone around him and I really hope the coach replacing him will live up to the standards set by others.

Hopefully money can be put into this sport in the near future so we can have a chance to compete with the rest of the world.

In terms of SA water polo how do you think we fair amongst the likes of Serbia, Italy, and Hungary? And what do you feel it would take for SA to one day get to that level?
Dayne Jagga:
Water polo in our country is not a professional sport so therefore it would be near impossible for our country to compete with any European country at the moment. SA has the talent, coaches and facilities to be up there with the rest of the world. Our country lacks funds to send teams to big tournaments so often many people pull out of tournaments due to this. Hopefully money can be put into this sport in the near future so we can have a chance to compete with the rest of the world.

Anyone who is chosen to represent their country should be ready to compete at the highest level whenever it is required otherwise they shouldn’t be playing for their country at this level.

You’re probably one of the youngest members to be selected for the SA men’s team, how does that make you feel and are you ready for the competition?
Dayne Jagga: I am overwhelmed from all the kind words I have received. Yes I am ready for this and I’m looking forward to it. Anyone who is chosen to represent their country should be ready to compete at the highest level whenever it is required otherwise they shouldn’t be playing for their country at this level.

What does your weekly training regime look like?
Dayne Jagga: I train every morning for an hour and a half and then back in the pool again in the afternoon for an hour and a half, so roughly 3 hours a day.

What has been your highlight of your career?
There hasn’t been a single highlight but I would definitely say that touring the country with my crazy school team has definitely been something special to me and winning tournaments with them made it even better. Representing the SA u20 side last year in Hungary was also pretty cool.

How do you feel your school is doing in terms of water polo on a national level?
Dayne Jagga: I think we are doing really well. We are currently ranked number 1 in the country and hopefully Clifton can maintain this position for the future. There are a lot of young players coming through so the future of Clifton is looking good.

And lastly do you have a special lady in your life?
Dayne Jagga: I don’t have much spare time, so a permanent girlfriend isn’t on the cards at the moment. Although I do enjoy spending time with a psycho woman. Haha don’t worry, it’s an inside joke…

Photos courtesy of Mark Du Plooy Photography

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