From the CEO... With finals fast approaching and end of season excitement throughout the State, it is a stark reminder that the water polo season com

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From the CEO...

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With finals fast approaching and end of season excitement throughout the State, it is a stark reminder that the water polo season comes and goes very quickly. It is to this extent that we must remember to provide the best environment possible to ensure that all of our athletes, parents and coaches enjoy their experience while being involved.

We have some exciting events occurring in the next month and a hard working core group of volunteers are leading the way. The Bunbury Water Polo Association will host the 2015 Bendigo Bank WA Country Water Polo Championships from Friday February 28 to Sunday March 1. WPWAI will host the metropolitan grand finals on the weekend of March 28 and 29 at HBF Stadium and finally the Karratha Water Polo Association will be hosting the National Country Water Polo Championships in April.

WPWAI would like to extend a welcome to Matt Turnbull, who takes up a position with Water Polo Australia, as National Participation Manager. Matt has a wealth of experience and knowledge and we look forward to working with him. http://www.waterpoloaustralia.com.au/news-media/news/news-article/article/2015/february/national-pathway-manager-appointed-at-wpa/

Another season of the National Water Polo League has commenced with a derby weekend played in Perth on February 7 and 8. The first round saw the Fremantle teams too strong for their local UWA Torpedoes rivals in both fixtures. WPWAI would like to officially wish both clubs a successful 2015 season and we hope to see them in finals action in Sydney in May this year.

April will see the State well represented in the National Club Championships at 14 & under and 18 & under club age groups. We know that the teams have been preparing well and we wish all WA based teams the best of luck in the lead up to the competition.

In closing I would finally like to thank the people of Kalgoorlie who have been exceptional in their support of water polo in kick-starting a Flippa Ball program for Term 1 2015. WPWAI has been working closely with the Kalgoorlie Oasis staff and have received tremendous support from the Goldfields Department of Sport and Recreation staff. We look forward to many more years of activity at the centre.

Enjoy your water polo for the rest of the season, good luck in your respective competitions and please support each other as we strive to make water polo the most enjoyable team sport in WA.

Dale Ballantyne
CEO - WPWAI

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What's On At The Pool

Good luck to all teams as you head towards the finals.

Here are a few dates to put in your diary...

Challenge Cup & Premier League Semi Finals
Saturday March 21

WPWAI Metropolitan Grand Finals - HBF Stadium
Seniors - Saturday March 28
Juniors - Saturday March 29

National Country Water Polo Championships - Karratha April 1-5

National Club Championships
14 & Under Girls Albury/Wodonga - April 1-6
14 & Under Boys Gold Coast - April 1-6
18 & Under Girls Canberra - April 7-12
18 & Under Boys Adelaide - April 7-12

 
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Country Finals Streamed LIVE!

Both the men's and women's grand finals will be streamed live online on Sunday March 1.

Details of how to access the streaming will be posted on the WPWAI website, Facebook page and forwarded via email prior to the tournament.

DVD’s of the grand finals will be available to be purchased after the event.

Costs and ordering details to be advised.

This exciting project is jointly funded by the WA Country Water Polo Association and Water Polo WA.

Bendigo Bank WA Country Champs

The State’s best water polo players outside the metropolitan area will be on show in Bunbury later this month.

The Bendigo Bank WA Country Championships will be staged at the South West Sports Centre on February 27-March 1 with six men’s and six women’s teams competing.

Bunbury women will be gunning for their third consecutive crown and Geraldton men will be hoping to retain its title against some fierce competition, none more so than Busselton, who lost the title last year at home.

Headed by one of the greats of Australian water polo, Kylie English, Bunbury is at short odds to carry off the title with its experienced line-up of Australian State and WA State players.

Veteran English, a World Cup champion and former Australian captain, will be joined by fellow Australian Country players Alice Rotheram, Chelsea Barrett and Tash O’Neill.

Rotheram and Barrett represented Australia in Hawaii last year while Rotheram and O’Neill toured Europe the previous year.

Chelsea Rotheram, Nicole Hearn and Eboney Franklyn are also State players out to impress.

English was named most valuable player for both the tournament and the grand final last year.

Bunbury men finished runner-up in Busselton last year and will be hoping to go one better at home this year.

Heading the Bunbury charge will be Jarrod English, Kylie’s son, and Lee Stiles. English is a bustling and bruising centre forward with a rocket shot while Stiles went to Hawaii with the Australian Country team last year.

Youthful goalkeeper Jack Deschamp was the MVP for last year’s grand final and another youngster who should impress is Alix English, Jarrod’s brother.

The freshness of the team should prove the impetus needed to topple Geraldton from its pedestal.

Busselton is fronting with a men’s team while some of its women players have been drafted to the Port Hedland team.

Former Australian star Sandra Morris returns to major action with Karratha women, which also contains the energetic Anouska Angove.

Her husband Justin Angove heads the men’s team and both have wide experience in the National Water Polo League.

Peel always fields strong line-ups, while a Composite team will play in the women’s division.

The weekend also doubles as a selection for the Australian Country Championships, which will be staged in Karratha at Easter.

The championships start with four matches on Friday night, February 27, followed by two full days of action with the gold-medal finals late on Sunday afternoon.

Referees have been appointed by the WA Country Association with Gary Payne overseeing Liz Burman, Fiona Haigh and Gavin McMahon the independent officials from Perth while teams will front with a referee each.

 

Aussies Dominate Super Series Polo

Australia reigned supreme at recent BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth.

On a fantastic opening night at HBF Stadium the Aussie Stingers were too good for long time rivals China.

Captain Bronwen Knox led from the front to score a treble of goals in the Stingers' 14-8 victory.

Coach Greg McFadden said he was happy with the opportunities his side created throughout the game, although had hoped to see better execution.

"We created a lot of opportunities in our extra man attack which was a positive, however we only converted two out of 10 in the first three quarters which was a little disappointing," McFadden said.

Attention for the Stingers now turns to the FINA World League Rounds from April 28 to May 3 in Auckland, New Zealand.

The following night started with the Aussie Sharks taking an impressive 14-5 win over the USA men’s water polo team.

The Sharks shook off some rough challenges from team USA to remain composed and control the game in the final two quarters to take the win.

Coach Elvis Fatovic said he was happy with the way his team eliminated mistakes throughout the game.

"We know that if you have strong defence, you increase your chances of victory. Today we played both positional and extra man defence very well, which opened up our attacking opportunities," Fatovic said.

"Our biggest strength in offence is our counter attack and that shone through tonight, I was also happy with our fast start.

"We have had a great week in Perth and a great week of common training and competition with the USA."

The Sharks now turn their focus to the FINA World League rounds from March 30 to April 4 in California, USA.

The Australian Swim Team emerged as the overall winners of the Super Series meet, taking first place and $250,000 in prize money with their score of 626 points. The USA looked to be closing in on the Aussies in the second half of the night but couldn’t quite grab top spot, finishing second on 586 points. Japan and China were third and fourth on 548 and 520 points respectively.

WA Representatives: Glencora McGhie, Gemma Beadsworth, George Ford, Luke Pavillard, Edward Slade

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