Dunfermline Press

Zara helps GB to EU medal


A TALENTED Dunfermlin­e Water Polo Club star has picked up a bronze medal representi­ng Great Britain at a European competitio­n.

Goalkeeper Zara Christie, a pupil at Dunfermlin­e High School, travelled to Brno, Czech Republic, to play for Great Britain’s under-19 women’s squad for the senior Women’s EU Nations Cup competitio­n, in which they placed third.

The teenager was one of 13 players that were selected for the tournament, which began on Friday and ran until Sunday.

In their opening match on Friday, GB secured an impressive 15-6 victory over Slovakia, before narrowly losing 10-9 to the hosts. That was followed by a 15-6 win over Wales, and a 17-11 loss to Sweden, which put them into the bronze medal match against Slovakia, which they won thanks to a thrilling 12-8 victory.

Dunfermlin­e star Zara was back involved with a GB team after competing for them at the LEN (European Aquatics) Under-17

Women’s European Championsh­ips.

She was the only Scottish-based player involved in that squad and helped them to a 13th place finish overall at the 16-team competitio­n, which took place in Manisa, Turkey, during the summer.

It was a highlight of what has been a successful 2023 for Zara who, in September, was named as Junior Water Polo Player of the Year at Scottish Swimming’s annual awards, which also saw fellow Dunfermlin­e player, Niamh Moloney, win the senior accolade.

Her trip to the EU Nations Cup comes after a busy November, which began with her representi­ng Scotland’s under-18 women at another EU Nations Cup event in Brno. Joined by Dunfermlin­e club-mates Kayleigh Roy, who was selected by her team-mates as their best defensive player, Lucy Macnair, who was the team’s jointtop goalscorer, and Robyn Hewie, Zara who even managed to score a goal - and the Scots placed fourth overall, losing out to Czech Republic 14-9 in the bronze medal game.

Following that competitio­n, in which she was named as the tournament’s best goalkeeper, she was involved in British Water Polo League (BWPL) competitio­n with Manchester Comets, the second team within the City of Manchester Water Polo Club.

Having been promoted from Division Three, they have gone on to win Division Two, despite Zara, who again managed to score a goal during the season, and the team having an average age of around 17.

They have now advanced to play a series of fixtures involving the top five teams in Division Two, and the bottom three of Division One, in which City of Manchester are top, to determine final placings. The EU Nations Cup comes as GB women’s under-19s prepare to try and be involved in next summer’s European Championsh­ips, in which Zara, who has received support from Dunfermlin­e-based Benji Physio, and Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, hopes can see GB secure a top-eight finish.

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