Estevan water polo players Auriel and Brendon Bill continue to make waves at the highest echelons of the sport.
The two siblings were both named to Canadian teams for international events recently.
Brendon was selected to the Canadian entry for the 19-and-under Pan American junior tournament to be held Aug. 10-18 in Montreal.
He made the team out of a three-week tryout camp in Montreal and is now on a tour of the Netherlands and Spain, playing those teams to prepare for the event.
Auriel, meanwhile, played with the 16-and-under Canadian team at the USA Youth Cup in Ontario, Calif., July 14-20. She was selected for that tournament after her play for Saskatchewan at the Youth Cup in Montreal, which ran June 29-July 7.
Brendon arrived in the Netherlands Monday. For two weeks, split between the two countries, Team Canada will train each morning and play the Dutch and Spanish national teams each night.
By making the 19-and-under team, he also qualifies for the Canadian squad going to the 18-and-under junior worlds in Australia in December.
Brendon said the tryout camp in Montreal was a grind, with 70.5 training hours spent in a span of 20 days.
"Montreal was the hardest thing I've ever done, both mentally and physically," he said via e-mail from the Netherlands. "The hardest part was pushing yourself past your own breaking point, either you were going to hit that breaking point and be done or push through, fight it and break through it mentally."
The Bills moved to Regina last year to live, go to school and train. It was a tough move, but it has paid off.
"This is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Not very many people get to represent their country, so it is definitely an amazing feeling," said Brendon. "It is even a greater feeling knowing all the sacrifices I have made to do this in a town where it is so hard to do it in."
He said that moving to Regina was "the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my young life."
Auriel said she's happy she took the plunge to leave her hometown in the name of development.
"It was definitely worth it. At first I was homesick all the time, but after awhile being on the national team, it's something I'm really glad that I did."
Auriel said it was an honour to represent her country at the USA Youth Cup, where Canada faced two American national squads and a college team, winning two and losing two.
"Being part of Team Canada was really fun. It wasn't exactly what I expected and it was hard work, but it was so much fun to represent Canada and it felt really cool. I love playing water polo, so just doing that, playing the sport I love and representing Canada, felt really good," she said.
"Now they know who I am, so it'll give me better opportunities for the future, whether I play on another Canadian team or to get a scholarship for university."
At the Youth Cup in Montreal, the Saskatchewan team finished seventh but Bill was one of 15 players selected to play in the tournament in California.
Brendon said he sees his sister doing great things in the future.
"I'm so happy for my sister to already be on a national team at such a young age. It makes me so proud to see her accomplishments and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if she is on the national team for many years to come, and one day at the Olympics. She has enough drive and God-given talent that she could do it."