Home Sports Miller-Morgan makes Team Ontario 

Miller-Morgan makes Team Ontario 

13-year-old Miller-Morgan, one of the youngest athletes on the U15 team, is determined to one day make it all the way to the Olympic Games. Courtesy Waneek Horn-Miller

Thirteen-year-old Skawennahawi Miller-Morgan is used to people commenting on her parents’ accomplishments when she’s talking about her own athletic success – being the child of two Olympians makes it hard to avoid.  

But despite her thrill to be following in their footsteps, Miller-Morgan is especially excited to be forging her own path in the pool as she prepares to join Team Ontario at the Water Polo National Provincial Championships in Montreal this July. 

“When I saw my name on the roster, I was really happy and felt the excitement because all my hard work had been paying off,” said Miller-Morgan of Team Ontario’s announcement that came at the end of last week. 

She’s been touched by the kind words of community members congratulating her online. 

“I’m pretty honoured that they’re proud of me,” she said. “I’ve been working really hard to make this team, so I’m happy they’re there to support me.” 

Miller-Morgan lives in Ottawa with her mother, Kahnawa’kehró:non Waneek Horn-Miller, who represented Canada in water polo at the 2000 Olympics. Her father is four-time Olympian judoka Keith Morgan. Horn-Miller said the two work hard to make their children understand that they have their own athletic identities outside of their parents. 

“We’ve talked a lot about it, there’s this pressure,” Horn-Miller said.  

“Her process this year has been going from being compared to me, and compared to others, to realizing ‘I have my own journey, and I will develop in my own way.’” 

That journey has been a whole lot of hours in the pool for the young athlete, who spends around 20 hours a week training with her club, Capital Wave Swimming and Water Polo. There, she’s part of the high-performance program with around 16 other determined athletes. 

“That environment, being cohorted with those other athletes, is really important. They’re a really good group of friends. They’re so supportive of each other, they play together and work hard, and that makes a huge difference,” Horn-Miller said.  

Fifteen athletes from the club made the U15 and U19 Team Ontario roster this year, including Miller-Morgan’s U15 teammates Yasmine Sowka, Naomi Jones, and Gillian Corkum, who she’s been playing with since she started water polo. They’ll be training with players from other clubs who also made the cut, which Miller-Morgan said will be a good opportunity to hone her skills. She said she’ll be focusing on building team chemistry in the water. 

“I really hope that my team is successful with how we play,” she said. “As we continue to go throughout the tournament, we’re going to improve each game. I’m excited to learn from the other players from other teams.” 

For Miller-Morgan, Team Ontario is just the start. She said she’s delighted to take this step towards her long-term goal: the Olympics. 

“I want to work to eventually make the national team and possibly help our team to go to the Olympics. I will really work hard and improve my skills, and then I think I can make it,” she said.  

“I want to be the best damn player in the water when I set foot in the pool with whatever team I’m on, and I want to go to the Olympics. I’m going to be part of the Mohawk Olympian legacy.” 

Continuing the legacy is important to her but having her family in the stands cheering her on counts just as much.  

“I’m not going to be following the exact same path my mother did. It’s going to be my path, but I know in the end that my mom is there to support me no matter what, whatever choice I make is going to be the right choice for me,” she said. “I’m really happy she introduced me to the sport because I wouldn’t be here today without it.” 

Horn-Miller said that she’ll always be there to celebrate her daughter, whether she’s playing for an Olympic gold or just for fun. 

“It was amazing as an athlete to succeed. I loved winning, I loved succeeding, but there is absolutely nothing that equates to seeing your child succeed in what they love,” Horn-Miller said. “My own success doesn’t hold a candle to that.” 

The National Provincial Championships will be held in Montreal from July 1-7.  

evedcable@gmail.com 

This article was originally published in print on April 19 in issue 33.16 of The Eastern Door.

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Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.

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Eve is a reporter with the Eastern Door. She has also covered harm reduction and social justice issues for the Montreal Gazette, The Breach, Filter Magazine, and more.