A collaborative approach between WAIS, Water Polo WA and
local clubs recently saw 65 juniors engage with Olympians and former national
stars, acting as specialist coaches at HBF Stadium as the opportunity to learn
new skills and develop the sport of water polo was melded together.
WAIS women’s water polo head coach Georgina Kovacs said the
initiative was developed predominantly to help boost the current junior talent base
in WA and enhance the existing high performance pathway for local water polo
Kovacs believes that all parties play an integral role in
helping develop athletes from grass root through to the elite level.
"The aim is to help develop athletes who are more skilled
and equipped – both technically and tactically. Broaden their understanding of
the game more generally in terms of each position they play and to better
assist them as they take the next few steps in their water polo development,” she
Speaking on the need to invest in youth development Kovacs
added, "We cannot take it for granted having talents like Gemma Beadsworth,
Glencora McGhie or Zoe Arancini.”
With junior water polo club members attending from Dolphins,
Melville, Newman, Phantoms, Triton and UWA-City Beach, Kovacs enlisted an
impressive role-call of Australian water polo royalty, who gave up their own
time to impart wisdom on the future generation of Western Australian talent.
Iconic names such as; Bridgette Ireland, Danielle Woodhouse,
Simone Fountain, Katie Finucane, Kelly Parks, Tomaz Lasic and current
Australian Stingers representative Zoe Arancini – were all present to work with
and inspire the attending club athletes across the three and half hour clinic,
with the session comprising of specific positional skills, one on one
mentoring, tactics and match simulations.
Kovacs explained that by splitting the experts by position
and working directly with the juniors wanting to emulate those roles, the
session took on greater focus.
"We had each coach spend half an hour with their specific
group to talk about their experiences, what they think is important for their
respective position, the essential skills and how they developed into world
"The feedback suggested the kids enjoyed themselves and
learned a lot,” she said. "We were told the kids were inspired by the people
who taught them which is a positive sign.”
The collaborative developmental approach was first launched
in December of last year, with the first session also including coaching from
water polo great Sharan Colliss.
From 30 odd participants at the inaugural campaign to over
60 club members at February’s clinic, Kovacs said the decision to continue the campaign
was a simple one.
"There is hunger for more and hopefully we can target more
kids as we go along.”