More than 2000 water polo players from across the country will take part in the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships over the next two weeks, but will also have the opportunity to see world class water polo live.

Three double-header test matches, featuring current and future Olympic players will provide juniors with the chance to see their heroes in action.

Image Source: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Australian Men’s Team Captain, Nathan Power, said the incredible opportunity to play in front of some many young fans, on home soil, is not lost on his team.

“It’s awesome to be able to play on home soil. Getting to be amongst the atmosphere of the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships is really cool as well. It’s awesome to see so many people here, who are passionate about the sport.

“We get to play in some awesome places around the world, but getting to play here in front of home fans…it can’t be matched.

“These kids are going to sit there and see however many people in the stadium, all watching us play [Tri-Nations Test Series] and that’s something that’s really cool because it’s going to drive their motivation moving forward as they continue on the path they are on with water polo.

“Brisbane 2032 will be on a lot of people’s minds here at AYWPC and I think that’s a really, really cool thing for them to be looking forward to,” he said.

Image Source: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

USA’s Women’s Captain and triple Olympic gold medalist, Maggie Steffens, said her team is thrilled to be back Down Under.  Not only for the chance to take on their rivals the Aussie Stingers, but to be back at the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships with the next generation of players.

“This is amazing to be here and be able to play, not just in front of the youth but we’re really playing with them. Same venue, same time and I think that’s a really important message for the youth of our sport - to say ‘hey you might be at this level now, but this is where you can be.’

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“That exposure for the future is an avenue for kids to say I can be like her. And that’s so important whether it’s Australia, USA, Spain, China…it’s an avenue to see the dreams they could pursue so we love being a part of that. For me, I’m a big advocate for growing the sport and just being able to be here with the kids is an amazing opportunity.

“Australia has been one of our toughest competitors and because of that we have a healthy rivalry.   We’re super close to Paris…it’s right around the corner. So to be able to come here and get really competitive games in, and play in front of a crowd.

“It’s not often you get to play games, most of the time you’re just training. So any opportunity to get games, and continue preparing is very valuable,” she said.

Perth local and Captain of the Australian Women’s Team, Zoe Arancini, said her side will be taking in the atmosphere that the Aussie fans will surely provide, especially from enthusiastic youth players.

“It’s really exciting to have the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships (AYWPC) here in my home town of Perth, to showcase the great pools and great weather we have here.

“It’s great to see how much water polo has grown, in particular the AYWPC that has been around for a few years now. It’s fantastic to see especially with a home Olympic Games [Brisbane] on the horizon in 2032.

“The opportunity to play international water polo on home soil and for the chance for these kids to see the world’s best is really great for our sport,” she said.

The Australian Youth Water Polo Championships will be held from 9-19 January 2022.

The Tri-Nations Test Series will be held at HBF Stadium Perth and broadcast live on Kayo Freebies.

Wednesday 11 January

6:00pm (AWST) - Aussie Stingers vs USA Women

7:30pm (AWST) - Aussie Sharks vs Japan


Friday 13 January

6:00pm (AWST) - Aussie Sharks vs Japan

7:30pm (AWST) - Aussie Stingers vs USA Women


Sunday 15 January

6:00pm (AWST) - Aussie Stingers vs USA Women

7:30pm (AWST) - Aussie Sharks vs Japan


Article Courtesy of Water Polo Australia