A RISING star with Dunfermline Water Polo Club has expressed her excitement at being selected to compete at a “massive” European competition.

Zara Christie, who is about to move into sixth year at Dunfermline High School, has successfully come through a series of trials to be selected for Great Britain’s under-17 girls squad that will take part in the Under-17 European Championships.

The event will take place in Manisa, Türkiye, from July 29 to August 6, and goalkeeper Zara is one of two Scots who are set to be in the final squad of 13 players.

A total of 16 teams will compete at the championships, and have been split into four groups of four, with the top two from each advancing to the quarter-finals.

The GB side have been placed in Group D, alongside the hosts, Serbia, Ukraine and Ireland, and the talented 16-year-old, who is also set to feature for her club in this weekend’s Scottish Championships finals, is hopeful of doing well at a tournament she had worked towards being selected for since January 2021.

A series of trials have taken place, predominantly in Manchester, to whittle down the squad to its final numbers, and Zara told Press Sport: “It’s been a long time coming.

“I’m really excited to go to Türkiye and compete in the first, massive competition that I’ll ever compete in with the team. I’ve been working three years towards it.

“We want to do as good as possible. I think we’ve got a good chance with the group we’re in. There’s a few strong teams, and we played Ireland 2005s, and we know what their 2006s are like, so it’ll be a better match for us.

“It’s the thing we’ve all been building up to and, once that’s over, I’m going for a trial for the 2005s, GB, which is the year above me, because their European nations are next year, so we’ll see how that goes.”

Former Carnegie Swimming Club member Zara, who is now a member of Dunfermline Amateur Swimming Club, as well as Dunfermline Water Polo Club, represented GB’s junior girls squad last year at an EU Nations Cup competition in Czechia, having been approached to trial after playing at an inter-regional competition south of the border.

Whilst Zara has the support of her proud parents, Cat and Sandy, the total cost of competing at the European Champions for the squad is in the region of £35,000, and the players have started a gofundme campaign to raise £13,000 of it.

They launched their efforts with 60 days to go until its start, taking on a series of challenges linked to the number 60, and anybody wishing to donate can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/great-britain-u17-girls-water-polo-squad.

Alternatively, anybody wishing to support Zara can contact Press Sport and we’ll put you in touch.