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Up-Close with Dean Whyte

Dean Whyte, SA Water Polo champion esteems the camaraderie of team mates very high. He draws his strength and motivation form his peers in the sports arena including his special Claire. He is quite an academic of note and busy with his Masters in Sports science. With the title of his research “Physiological Profiles of South African Male Elite Water Polo Players”. As if a masters does not keep one busy enough, he is also currently doing a post graduate certificate in Education!

He is indeed a busy man that finds time and balance in each aspect of life from sports, to fellowship with friends, to love, to giving back to the community. His passion is to sow back into his WP Learners some of his rich experiences that he has had in the Water Polo Arena. He is the proud owner of a stunning Water Polo club called Tridents Aquatics Club, where teaches and uplifts our precious youth. He describes himself as “Easy going. Accommodating. Water polo loving. Determined”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Dean Whyte
Nick Name Bravo
Date of birth 17 September 1988
Place of birth Johannesburg
Current City Johannesburg
Height 188 cm
Weight 88 kg
Shoe Size UK 10
Club Old Johanians Eagles (OJ Eagles)
Coach’s Name Vlado Trninic
Out of Country events/ meets 15th FINA world champs. Scotland commonwealth games. Kuwait development trophy. Kazakhstan world cup. EU 8 nations. And currently at the 16th FINA world champs in Russia
Favorite City Barcelona
Favorite Song/ type of music EDM
School & Grade Parktown Boys’ High School, Class of 2006
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year University of Johannesburg alumni
Tertiary degree/ diploma Sports Science (Hons)
Sponsors No personal sponsorship
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook Whytedean
Community projects Soweto development for water polo
Parents Names Gwen and Vernon Whyte
Very briefly describe yourself as a Person Easy going. Accommodating.  Water polo loving.  Determined.



Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your ­­­­­­­­water polo, tell me a little bit about how you started and your journey in the water polo arena up to now?

It stemmed all from my school days. I had passionate coaches with a sport they loved. I think that it rubbed off of me too. Now days everything revolves around polo. It had a huge influence on my life choices. After high school my university club coach Stanislav Gospodinov really helped develop me to the player I am today both in confidence and ability. My current coach now has also been critical in my water polo just advancing to new levels. Added to that, the club team members  I have are like no other! The guys drive one another and push each other always. I guess that leads up to where we are today. Our club is national champions (11/13 times since the clubs inception),  old Edwardian champs and all good friends!

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in water polo and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

I play for the men’s national side since 2013. It’s a team sport so I guess best accomplishment has to be winning the European 8 nations tournament in Denmark earlier this year.

Q: You are just back from Kazan where you and your team mates rocked the boat a bit! Congrats! Please may you share a little about your and the team’s experience in  Kazan?

Thank you 🙂 Kazan was amazing – to play against elite players of that nature are just humbling! It is a constant reminder of how much more work we can do here in SA. The Team vibe was amazing – during my first debut in Barca two years ago, each training camp, each tournament there after we have just grown together with the guys. Again to play with the worlds best we learnt a hell of a lot!

Q: Tell me about your club and your training / competition approach with kids/ athletes that you train? Age range?
 My Club is Based in Randburg – We train out of Rand Park High School. We are very new to the scene (two years of age) but wanted to provide for opportunity for athletes in the area. We train Swimmers and Water polo athletes.
 As for my approach to training and competition it is a little different for our kids as opposed to our older athletes.
For our kids its about fostering love and enjoyment for the sport – obviously winning is the cherry on top – but winning is not the goal. Our older athletes have a bit more focus on competition although its ultimately about developing and improving ones own ability. Our ladies club is amongst the top and contains a few national athletes as well. Its an absolute pleasure training them.
Our age range is – from 7/8 upwards

Q: You have travelled outside SA before, what are your highlights of these travels,  and what does travelling do for your mindset/ perspective on things?

It’s a huge eye opener. Having the opportunity to play for your country is a huge honour. It’s also always so exciting being able to visit and experience new places. As for perspective and mindset. I believe it does develop you as an individual. It’s just so amazing to see what each country is able to give to water polo. Some places are just mind blowing.

Q: How do you manage to fit in sports and work  into your schedule?

I think one needs to make time. I’m fortunate to have a lot of flexible hours so it’s not too bad to fit training in. I run my own club so if I can’t get to train I can do it there!

Q: Beside your water polo what do you have a passion for?

I can be a little nerd at times playing games. But I love to cook!

Q: What do you do to relax?

Play PlayStation, watch TV, visit friends and cook

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Humble in victory, lessons to learn in defeat

Q: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

Water polo has many facets to the sport. Keeping each point up there takes a lot of time training and assessment.

Q: When you’ve had a tough day, what lifts you up again?

My girlfriend has also played at the top level of water polo. So Claire knows me quite well and always is able to be the shoulder to lean on. I also have two good team mates that are able to just lift the spirits.


Q: I’m sure you have many things going on right now, what’s to be expected next from you?

Complete my PGCE and Masters in Sports Science.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!


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