We are all feeling the immediate impact of COVID-19 in our daily lives so right now we are hoping all Club members and their families are healthy and safe. While it is frustrating to be out of the water, please all take the chance to have a break and be ready to come back fresh and ready to go when we kick off again.
Sydney University Water Polo Club (SUWPC or the Club) had another fantastic season in 2019-20. Most notable this season was our transition with the Men’s and Women’s Club operating highly successfully as one Club (with the formal legal merging process in progress). The Club had amazing participation and achievements from our active 368 playing members ranging from our elite Australia Water Polo League (AWL) squads with many Olympians, to our senior grade players and our juniors in the U18 to U12 age groups.
SUWPC is arguably the most successful water polo Club currently in Australia. Based on the most recent junior Australian Club Championship (AYC) results of all ages (men and women), SUWPC medalled in 5 out of 8 of the age categories including being crowned Australian Club Champions in the Women’s 18 and Men’s 16s. No other Australian club performance was close to achieving this. In addition, SU finished top on the points table for both 2020 AWL Men and Women (who were undefeated) competitions with only two rounds left before finals prior to the competition being terminated. Another great performance was Men’s 2nd place silver medal at the Australian University Games.
In a special side achievement in 2019, Gain Line Analytics ranked the SU Men’s AWL Water Polo team as Australia’s #10 most successful sporting team over the past 5 years competing in all national elite sporting competitions (just behind and in the same company as franchises such as the Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters NRL, Crusaders Super Rugby and Richmond Tigers AFL teams).
SUWPC’s 2019-20 results are shown in the table below. The highlighted boxes illustrate SUWPC’s fantastic results at AYC level with 14 teams competing. This made SU the largest contingent and most successful junior Club in Australia. While the Club does participate at the elite level, it also values participation and development. Numerous teams at all levels had great seasons and are also highlighted below.
The Club has had an amazing outcome with representative selections. In our junior ranks, congratulations to all those numerous players selected in Australian squads and teams, NSWIS, NSW State squads and teams, Australian Schools and school representative teams. Of course, we wish our SUWPC Lions in the Australian Olympic team squads all the best for the now postponed 2021 Tokyo Olympics. It means another exciting AWL in 2021 as a build up to the Olympics.
The SUSF Elite Athlete Scholarship Program is also one of the cornerstones of the Club’s success and SUSF continues its strong support for water polo players undertaking tertiary study. Australian National squad representatives in 2019-20 and SUSF EAP Scholars in 2020 were:
It is also important to recognise some of the milestone achievements of our SU Lions AWL current playing group. We are blessed with some long-term loyal superstars but also with several exciting young debutants making it through our SU pathway this season. Special congratulations for Tayla Walsh, Michael Rosenthal and Goran Tomasevic who all played their 100th AWL game this season and the amazing Keesja Gofers who went to 312 games – all well on your way to catching Club legends Trent Franklin (451) and Alistair Visch (405)!
Social highlights of the year included our Annual Blue & Gold Water Polo Lunch and Junior Presentation Days. The Club also gives thanks to the Mayer Family who continue to support the Club with funding for the perpetual Fred Mayer Syd Uni Men’s Water Polo Award. Already several boys in the Club have been beneficiaries of this Award.
A special congratulation to all the marriages and engagements this year of our Lions – Michael & Dani Rosenthal, Scott Nicholson & Keesja Gofers, Clayton & Maddi Whittaker, Chris Dyson, Trent Franklin and Nathan Cargill. Looking forward to the next crop of Lions!
A very special thank you to all our great helpers and supporters for their contribution to the Club and all their heavy lifting behind the scenes. This includes all our amazing volunteer Coaches, Managers and Parents, Executive Committee, Media Officer Daniel Trent, our sponsors including Kap7, the Knox SUNS team, the great team at SUSF, SU Sports Foundation, Pool Staff at SU Aquatic Centre, Knox, Newington, Ascham and Kincoppal, WPNSW and WPA and of course our Executive team – Raph Pirat (Club Coaching Director), Dusan Krstic (Senior Women’s AWL Coach), Dragan Bakic (Senior Men’s AWL Coach) and Lindsay Cotterill (Junior Coaching Director) and JoAnn Matruglio (Operations Manager).
It’s a big team that contribute and make it all happen!
Looking forward to continued success and enjoyment of all our members at all levels from the great game of water polo. The 2020-21 season promises to be a special year where we can look forward to getting back in the water and continue to enjoy our water polo!
Antony Green (President – SU Men’s Water Polo Club)
Simon Lewis (President – SU Women’s Water Polo Club)