Amanda Chambers, 17, of Oak Bay High has signed to San Diego State to play water polo. (Photo from Amanda Chambers)

Amanda Chambers, 17, of Oak Bay High has signed to San Diego State to play water polo. (Photo from Amanda Chambers)

Oak Bay water polo player NCAA-bound

Amanda Chambers signs with San Diego State

The coronavirus has kept student athlete Amanda Chambers in Oak Bay this year but it hasn’t kept her from signing to play water polo for San Diego State next year.

Chambers finished in the top 10 of goal scorers in the U19 National Championship League last year playing for the Edmonton Tsunami and would be there this school year, if not for the pandemic.

She is hopeful she’ll be back later this year and is training here on her own, and also coaching two younger players, until that can happen.

“I was just so excited to sign because of the uncertainty,” Chamber said. “I wasn’t [originally] planning on moving to Edmonton for water polo, I wasn’t sure I would commit to the sport of water polo. Committing to a school made it feel right, and what I was supposed to be doing.”

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Moving to Edmonton meant leaving friends behind, studying Grade 11 and 12 courses online, and staying at a billet home. None of that is unheard of for teen athletes but still wasn’t something Chambers had anticipated. She’s also a provincial level water skiing athlete, another sport she will try to compete in but which comes second to her water polo schedule.

Chambers is an attacker and finished the U19 NCL season with 30 goals last year, top 10 in the league as a 16 year old. Her team was first in the Western division with nine wins in 16 games when the shutdown happened. She has a chance to improve on that total if the season can happen this year.

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Fortunately for Chambers, she enrolled in water polo camps in San Diego the past two years (pre-COVID) where she had a chance to train with the San Diego State coach.

“The draw for me is that San Diego have the great water polo program, brand new facilities, and I know the coach and the area,” Chambers said.

For now, Chambers is a Grade 12 student at Oak Bay High, however normal that is during a pandemic.

She has friends from the NCL who left for the NCAA this fall where thousands of athletes are training and awaiting weekly updates on news of competitions and championships. Chambers is leaning towards a focus in criminal justice for her studies.

reporter@oakbaynews.com