A volunteer with the Estevan Sharks water polo club has been recognized for her commitment to the sport.
Lucinda Milford has been honoured with the Water Polo Saskatchewan Official of the Year Award. In an interview with the Mercury, she said she was “quite shocked” when she found about the recognition, but she was also excited.
The award recipients were announced on the Water Polo Saskatchewan Facebook page June 23.
“It’s nice to see that they were able to look at doing something for all of the athletes and volunteers, and parents and helpers who help make the sport continue as it does,” Milford told the Mercury.
Her involvement with the sport started about six years when her kids were younger. They went to the annual fall city-wide registration, and she expected to sign them up for hockey. But they enjoyed swimming and decided to enter water polo instead.
Her children – Dierks, Brooks and Royce – enjoy everything associated with the sport.
“They are able to venture into playing with Team Sask., and there is the travelling and the meeting of new people,” she said. “They enjoy different pools around the province, and starting to go nationally and internationally is fairly neat for them to do, especially at a young age.”
The Milford boys practise four days a week between Estevan, Weyburn and Regina, and they also compete at tournaments. When they get into the higher-end elements like the courses, it’s even more involved.
“It’s a big game to learn. There are lots of rules. It’s very aggressive. But I have lots of love for it,” said Milford, who would like to get more into the coaching end of things.
As an official, she’s involved with the scoreboard and the computer elements. She also helps those who aren’t as comfortable.
“I personally don’t like the clock as much, but I believe in diving into it and learning it for the higher end of it, because as they start training higher up and into different leagues for the national Canadian league, we have to provide time to help with that. The higher up they get into the sport, the more officials they need. They need the officials, they need the refs. They need everything to make the game go on,” said Milford.
In her award bio, it was noted that Milford is willing to help parents learn the “scary game clock.” She recognizes the clock is part of a tournament.
“I like doing the computer, but it was funny that they noticed that if I have to do it (the clock), I have no qualms about doing it. But it’s not my preferred (station),” she said.
And she enjoys learning, watching, helping and even taking pictures for the club.
Milford said she loves the Sharks and how everyone comes together and works together, and she hopes more people in Estevan will see how amazing the sport is.