Posted by Sue Seagroatt
On 16 April 2016 we had a visit to Uxbridge from Vanessa Thomas of the Jack Petchey Award scheme. Vanessa explained about the scheme and took the opportunity to make the award for March 2016 to Ilyas Raja.
Ilyas, who is 16, has many qualities that make him an obvious choice. Although he joined the club only 14 months ago, he has become a key figure, popular both with his peers and the younger players. Prior to joining he had trained with Ealing Dolphins Swimming Club, but this was his first experience of water polo. He has trained very hard and competed in the London Youth Games team in June 2015, that came 4th in the competition. Ilyas enjoys water polo so much that he goes for extra training with Enfield.
At the end of each term we have fun tournaments with teams of mixed abilities and ages, and Ilyas has become a popular team captain. He is notable for looking after all the younger players and ensuring he passes the ball to them. Recently he has refereed and been brave enough to stick by his decisions, even when they have proved controversial.
Ilyas has been recommended for the adult men’s Middlesex team.
Picture shows Penguin Juniors coach, Claudio Palumbo, presenting Ilyas with the Jack Petchey Award.