NSW based Olympic water polo squad members are set to headline the new KAP7 Clash of the Champions’ beach polo fours event in Sydney on November 28th.

Cabarita Swimming Centre in Concord will host the new event, the KAP7 Clash of the Champions.

WHEN: Saturday November 28th at 6pm
WHERE: Cabarita Swimming Centre
TICKETS: On sale November 5th at 5pm via www.kap7.com.au 

With international water polo somewhat on hold due to COVID-19, some of Australia’s top water polo players are looking to get game-time under the belt as the count down to the Tokyo Olympics heats up.

While the friendly will feature mixed teams taking on water polo’s “T-20” version, beach polo (which debuted at the FINA World Championships in 2019), athletes are keen to hit the pool and provide water polo fans with some quality game time.

Four mixed teams will take part, with NSW based squad members Aidan Roach (dual Olympian), Joel Dennerley (dual Olympian), Keesja Gofers (Rio Olympian) and Bronte Halligan (Tokyo Olympic hopeful) to captain the sides.

Captain of the Great White's, dual Olympian Aidan Roach, said he is looking forward to providing fans with the chance to experience fast paced water polo.

“I haven’t had a chance to play but I’m excited to give it a go. Excited to play with a smaller ball, I might be able to score now,” laughed Roach.

“I think the games will start out as a bit of fun, but get super competitive. I think the girls will be keen to show they're just a strong and fit as the boys and the boys won’t want to let the girls get one up on us – it will be a lot of fun.

“Beach polo is an exciting format but I reckon it is a lot harder than it looks,” he said.

Captain of the Irikandji's, Tokyo hopeful Bronte Halligan, said the opportunity to play the new water polo format in a mixed team will be a lot of fun.

“I think this will be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t had the opportunity previously to play beach polo and I’m excited to give it a crack.

“I think it’s a much faster game, quick pace, high scoring and you don’t’ need as much endurance. Creates a bit of fun for everyone.

“We haven’t played competitive water polo due to COVID-19 for a while, with Division 1 in NSW just starting again. While this is a bit of fun, we are all elite athletes so you can expect us to all be super competitive,” she said.

KAP7 General Manager, Scott Nicholson, said KAP7 is proud to deliver the ‘Clash of the Champions’ to kick start summer.

“We are thrilled to be working with Water Polo Australia to present the ‘Clash of the Champions’ with current members of the KAP7 Aussie Sharks and the Aussie Stingers, in the newest form of water polo.

“Since beach polo debuted at the FINA World Championships in 2019, the format of water polo has sparked significant interest around the world. It’s water polo’s version of ‘T20 cricket’ - fast, action packed and easy to follow.

“We are excited to bring all the action from the Clash of the Champions and give the community an exciting new sports event they can attend.”

Water Polo Australia CEO, Richard McInnes, said water polo has not been immune to the impacts of COVID-19 at a grassroots and international level, and the ‘Clash of the Champions’ will be a real crowd pleaser.

“Mixed teams in beach polo formats will provide a great spectacle for our water polo fans and we thank the team at KAP7 for bringing to life the first instalment of the ‘Clash of the Champions’,” said McInnes.

“While border restrictions remain in place for large parts of our country as well as internationally, our KAP7 Aussie Sharks and the Aussie Stingers have been training within their home State Institutes, working in with our national high performance coaches.

“The Clash of the Champions will be a great exhibition for our game and provide the opportunity for our KAP7 Aussie Sharks and the Aussie Stingers to engage with fans,” he said.

Written by Tara Mackay

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