Waverley College has a strong history in water polo and has been a breeding ground for both state and national players over many years. Waverley Old Boys are heavily involved in nurturing the current and future teams and make up the majority of our coaches; ensuring that the younger generations understand the game and the tradition that they are a part of. Waverley College is a member of the Combined Associated Schools (CAS) of New South Wales.
Water polo is a game of speed and accuracy. The ball moves fast between the teams. So they have to switch between attack and defence positions really quickly. It’s a very technical game. Luke is one of our best shooters, Jessie is the goalkeeper for our CIS competition. We have a team made up of the top players across CAS schools, with four water polo players in the CIS team.
They’re friends, even though they’re from four different year groups. They love their sport, they love playing with their mates. And it’s the mateship that keeps the team bonded. These boys will be friends long, long after school because of what they did in water polo. It’s the same with any team. The bond of friendship lasts a very long time.
The bond is over the sport. We’re close from playing but also being able to talk about anything. We know everything about each other. Over the years we’ve become better friends, talk about whatever.
When we hit the water, it’s on. When you start a game you get into the feeling of playing, you’re not really thinking about it. When I get out of the pool I then snap back to reality. Time goes really fast during the game. Leading up to the game takes forever, ten minutes feel like hours.
Playing with the boys is fun. I knew that this [leading the team] is what I wanted to do.
Part of my role is to know them, their strengths and weaknesses so that I can support them. And the Principal is also keen to hear how they’re doing, hear about their achievements. Their achievements are the school’s achievements, and we’re proud of them. Waverley College has a strong and proud sporting history. And these students know that. All coaches, bar the teachers are Waverley Old Boys. They want to come back, to keep traditions going. To ensure the younger generation know what they are part of.
For example, Charlie’s dad coaches, and his brother plays for NSW and Australia. We’ve had a long line of Negus’ involved in water polo. There are brothers in this team, generations of brothers playing water polo. So when we have presentations you’ve got all these players reuniting.
If we lose, we reflect on why we lose. Was it a matter of tough competition? Is it their X factor? Or it comes back to ‘Where did we go wrong as a group and as an individual?’ It’s not to say, ‘It’s all your fault!’ We ask, ‘How can we help you?’ We don’t throw blame around. We ask, ‘What can we do to be better in the future?’
If something happens in the game, like when they score, you see what you could have done to stop it. So in training we’ll replay their move to see how we can defend it in the future.
We could be CAS undefeated champions if we win the next 4 games. We joke around, but we want to win.