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Regina Water Polo athletes set to compete at Youth Pan Am Games in Brazil


Three Regina under 17 (U17) water polo athletes have been chosen for Canada’s National teams to compete at the Youth Pan Am games in Brazil in April.

Sydney Krushen and Makayla Ulmer-Lutudromu of Regina will compete on the Women’s Youth National Team. According to the Water Polo Canada Website (, their Regina teammates Taya Bumpas and Anna Ulmer have been named alternates. On the men’s side, Regina’s Reid Tatemichi and Zander Velestuk (alternate) are the only Saskatchewan products to make the cut.

“My parents woke me up in the morning, they had gotten the email before I did [that I made the team]. I was really shocked and wasn’t really expecting that but I was really happy and excited,” Krushen said.

“This is going to be my first international competition. I’m very excited, I didn’t make the team last year so I worked really hard over the summer and the start of this season,” the 17-year-old Tatemichi said.

Thirty athletes from across Canada have been selected to represent the red and white at the 2023 PanAm Aquatics Water Polo U17 Championships that will be held in Bauru, Brazil.

“I’m most looking forward to playing with everyone across Canada, like the teams that I’ve been competing against, but not getting to be like teammates with them,” Krushen said.

“I think it’s a good opportunity and it’s really exciting that I get to represent Saskatchewan. I’m really grateful for that experience and there’s a lot of pressure going into it. But I’m hoping to do well for Canada,” Ulmer-Lutudromu said.

Ulmer-Lutudromu has experience representing Canada on the world stage as she was a member of the Youth National Team in 2022 and attended the World Championship Games.

“I would say being one of the older ones of the team [will help me this year] because last year I was one of the youngest and I think it’d be a better experience to be one of the older ones,” she said.

The Championships, which are held every two years, will run from April 2-8. However, the last time the U17 event was held was in 2019 in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago. The Canadian men’s team placed fourth, while the women’s team finished second.

“I think we’re going to have like 3 days when we arrive in Bauru but that’s about it,” said Tatemichi on how much time the team will have to get to know one another before competing.

“Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of nerves, but I think we got a good group of kids and I think we’ll be able to get together really fast,” he added.

The men’s team has never placed higher than third at the championships and Tatemichi noted the competition will be fierce once again.

“The U.S. and Brazil, they’re not in our group, but I think those are the top dogs. Argentina too,” he said on who will be tough to beat.

On the women’s side, Canada has one gold medal finish at the inaugural event back in 2011. Both Krushen and Ulmer-Lutudromu agreed the United States will be one of the top teams to beat.

The two are also excited to have familiarity of each other on the team.

“I think it’s something that’s really special and I’m really excited to be able to do that, just the two of us. It’s kind of hard to put into words just because I’ve never experienced this before,” exclaimed Krushen.

“I find it comforting that I’ll have people from home there,” said Ulmer-Lutudromu.

Each country at the event will be looking to qualify for the World Aquatics 2024 World Youth Championships. The top four teams from both the men’s and women’s competitions will earn a spot. But that is not the only goal for the Regina athletes.

“Just like the other two [Krushen and Tatemichi], hopefully, the Olympics,” Ulmer-Lutudromu said on where they hope to take their water polo career someday. Top Stories

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