In a first for the Sunshine Coast, council’s Kawana Aquatic Centre has secured the water polo Australia versus USA training camp and test matches in March.
Australian’s men’s and women’s teams will host the Americans as part of a five-day training camp that will also include a two-day test match series on March 29 and 30.
It will form an important build-up tournament for all teams ahead of the FINA World League Intercontinental Tournament that will be held in New Zealand from April 3-8.
Aussie men’s head coach Elvis Fatovic said the Sunshine Coast would provide a great location for the camp and test matches.
“It will be great to have both our men’s and women’s teams in one location to host the USA in what will be an important training camp and test match series ahead of the FINA World League Intercontinental Tournament,” he said.
“Our men’s and women’s teams do not train full time together all year round, so our camps are vital to our preparation for international tournaments.
“The facilities at Kawana Aquatic Centre are ideal for us to train and then also compete in the two test match series.
“The tournament in New Zealand is our opportunity to qualify for the FINA World League Final later in the year, so preparation is crucial ahead of the tournament.”
Aussie women’s coach Sakis Kechagias said the USA are one of the most formidable water polo nations in the world, so local fans were in for a treat.
“The USA women’s water polo team are reigning Olympic gold medallists and one of Australia’s fiercest rivals on the international water polo circuit,” he said.
“It is always great to have world-class action here in Australia so our fans can have the chance to see water polo at its best.
“The training camp and test match series will provide us with another opportunity to test our combinations and tactics ahead of the next major international tournament.”
Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Cr Jason O’Pray said it was no secret that the Sunshine Coast was becoming the sporting mecca of Australia.
“This year is shaping up to be another massive year of sporting milestones with the likes of NRL and Super Rugby trial games and the Commonwealth Games athletes who are heading to our region to train,” Cr O’Pray said.
“We are very proud to be given the chance to host our first international water polo test series.
“We have a strong polo fraternity here on the Coast and this international series follows on from our success in hosting the National Water Polo League over the past three years.
“Water polo is a fantastic sport to watch live and I would thoroughly recommend anyone who loves sport to head along to our Kawana Aquatic Centre to view one of the most physically demanding of all team sports.”
Australia v USA International Water Polo Camp
Kawana Aquatic Centre
Thursday, March 29
Friday, March 30
Tickets are available at the gate for just $5 for adults and $2 for children.