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New regional academy latest sign of growth in water polo

By July 28, 2022August 15th, 2022Aquatic Centre, News, Sport

The decision to establish a regional academy for Water Polo in Orange is being welcomed as a major boost for the sport in the central west.

Based at the Orange Aquatic Centre, the new regional academy has been set up by Water Polo NSW, in partnership with Orange Water Polo.

The Academy provides a performance pathway for local athletes who have already been selected in NSW State Squads and Teams, or who are working to explore that direction. It will run for 6 weeks during Term 3, finishing in September.

The coaching line-up includes Nikita Williams (nee Cuffe) 2008 Bronze medallist Beijing, Alicia McCormack 2008 Beijing and London Bronze Medallist, Sam McGregor Australian Men’s team 2004, 2008 and 2012. Current Australian Stingers player Genevieve Longman and the current UTS Balmain Men’s National League Player Harry Sanderson will also be part of the coaching team.

Orange City Council’s Sport & Recreation Committee chair, Cr Tammy Greenhalgh has welcomed news of the new academy.

“Water Polo has been growing steadily in Orange in recent years, and I’m delighted local teens who want to take a fun sport to the next level will now have the opportunity to gain support and extra training from top coaches,” Cr Tammy Greenhalgh said.

The players invited for the Orange Water Polo Academy are boys and girls born between 2005 and 2009 who have potential to progress through the State Team Program pathway. The academy sessions will give these athletes a chance to work with experienced
coaches to develop their fundamental skills and game play.

Chief Executive of Water Polo NSW Alex Godbold said the academy would deliver extra training.

“I am thrilled to have been able to set up a Regional Academy in Orange. This gives the local athletes the opportunity to join other athletes from across NSW as they progress along the State Team Program Pathway,” Alex Goldbold said.

“The academy will offer athletes an additional training opportunity outside of their clubs, a chance to play with other players and learn from different coaches.”

President of the Orange Water Polo Association Sarah Sokol said it would be good to have elite coaches visiting Orange.

“A line up of coaches of this calibre is incredible, especially here in regional NSW,” Sarah Sokol said. “To have Australian Olympic Water Polo Royalty in our midst and pass on their knowledge of the game to our young talented players is priceless.”

“Around 30 local young talented players, have been invited to take part, giving them this rare opportunity to strengthen their skills and gain a spot on a WPNSW pathway. This new regional academy might even set off the right spark and see a young player from Orange Water Polo play in the next generation of Australian Water Polo”.

To host the academy sessions, the 25m pool at the Orange Aquatic Centre will be closed for community swimming from 2.30pm on Sunday afternoons, from the 31st of July – 4th September.

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