The 15&U and 17&U Women’s State National Championships will kick off the return of the State National Championships to the Gold Coast as juniors across the country prepare for their first taste of representative water polo.
With the age groups changed for the one-off Summer Slam earlier in the year, the 15 & U age divisions provide an opportunity for the next generation of water polo players to represent their state.
Having had limited access to interstate competition, Sarah Fleming, South Australia’s 15 and under head coach, said her side were looking forward to a trip to the Gold Coast.
“The team is very excited to travel to the Gold Coast to compete in the State Nationals,” said Fleming.
“It’s a competition that the girls have worked very hard for, and they are delighted to have the opportunity to play as a team for South Australia.
“For many of these girls, this will be their first national championships, as some of them were unable to compete in the last one due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
After weeks of training in South Australia, Fleming said his side were ready for the challenges ahead.
“Training preparations have gone very well, and for this competition we have also implemented a new structured training with the boys 15 and under,” said Fleming.
“It allowed us to break down tactics and allow athletes to play games against each other and develop team skills.
“We are looking forward to warmer weather in Queensland, and for many of us this will be our first time playing water polo on the Gold Coast, so we can’t wait to play in a new pool,” she said.
Tasmania will also make the long trip to the east coast, but 15&U representative Keeley Saunder said her team were delighted.
“Travelling for competitions is very rewarding for us, as we are able to learn new tactics and gameplay approaches from other states,” Saunder said.
“Our last national competition was very difficult, both physically and mentally, which motivated us to train harder so that we can face these championships with confidence.
“Our team was also fortunate to be in contact with some of the Aussie Stingers, who inspired us to shift our mindset to have a positive time on the Gold Coast,” she said.
In terms of the toughest opposition, Saunder said there were a few, but they would be ready for it.
“Teams Queensland were our toughest competitors at Summer Slam 2022, and will no doubt be a tenacious team once again,” said Saunder.
“Western Australia are a team we haven’t faced yet which is both nerve-wracking and exciting as they will bring a new style of play that we can learn from,” she said. .
15 & U ACT head coach Don Cameron said the state nationals would be a good way for his team to gauge their off-season progress.
“We’re excited to be able to take on tough opponents to assess the team’s progress,” said Cameron.
“There has been a strong commitment from a core of highly motivated players who have really stepped up their conditional and technical preparations.
“The girls have worked hard over the winter and we can’t wait to put that into play on the Gold Coast,” he said.
When it comes to rivals, Cameron said he thinks the toughest opponents are those closest to home.
“We think our biggest rival is ourselves,” Cameron said.
“We have to stay positive, follow our game plans, maintain our skill standards and not get too caught up in who we are up against.
“We hope for a very competitive event, which will be played in a good mood and which will be enjoyed by everyone, including parents, spectators and officials,” he said.
The 2022 15&U and 17&U Women’s State Championships kick off on the Gold Coast from Saturday, September 27 through Tuesday, October 2.
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KommunityTV – 15&U and 17&U Women’s National Championships Broadcast Schedule
Saturday September 24
9h : U15, NSW Blues contre Victoria Navy
10h : U15, WA Gold contre QLD Gold
11h : U15, QLD Maroon v WA Black
Noon : U15, NSW Waratahs v ACT
13h : U15, QLD Gold contre NSW Blues
2 p.m.: U15, Tasmania v Victoria Navy
15h : U15, ACT v QLD Maroon
4pm: U15, South Australia v WA Black
Sunday September 25
8h : U17, Barbarians Blue v TAS/ACT
9h10 : U17, NSW Blues contre QLD Gold
10.20am: U17, South Australia v NSW Waratahs
11h30 : U17, QLD Maroon v WA Gold
12h40 : U17, WA Black v QLD Gold
13h50, U17, Barbarians Blue contre NSW Blues
15h : U17, Victoria Silver contre WA Gold
4.10pm: U17, South Australia v QLD Maroon
monday september 26
8 a.m.: U15, WA Gold v Tasmania
9am: U15, QLD Gold v Victoria Navy
10am: U17, WA Gold v South Australia
11h10 : U17, NSW Waratahs contre Victoria Silver
12:20 p.m., U15 finals, 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B
1:20 p.m., U15 final, 1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A
2:20 p.m.: U17 Finals, 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B
3:30 p.m.: U17 Finals, 1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A
tuesday september 27
9:30 am: Bronze medal U15: Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
10:30 am: Gold medal U15, Winner SF1 v Winner SF2
Noon: Bronze Medal U17, Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
1:10 p.m., Gold Medal U17, Winner SF1 against Winner SF2