As senior members of the 149-athlete touring party, Matt Lenarduzzi, Mackenzie Grice, Sophie Milliken and Nic Porter will lead Team QLD as Tour Captains. It’s an opportunity for older athletes to mentor the younger athletes, many who are representing Queensland and being on tour for the first time.
We caught up with the Tour Captains to get their reaction and find out what they have planned for the team during the Sydney Water Polo Youth Festival. For Matt, he was surprised to be named but he “was pretty excited, it’s pretty special to be the first group of people to captain a Queensland tour with all the age groups. It’s a good opportunity to create a memorable environment.”
Like Matt, Nic was surprised to named as Tour Captain. “It’s a huge honour to be able to captain your State along with three other great captains. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to build a good environment and make sure everyone has a good time and plays hard.”
Across the age groups, Queensland has two teams entered in the tournament but for Nic, “the most important thing is that we go down as one big team. We are all staying together, training together, traveling together and we are all going to make sure that lots of teams are around each other, going to support each other when they are playing. I think if we can do that, we can create a really good team culture and show off the Queensland spirit.”
For Sophie, going to other teams games will be a great opportunity to create a one-team mentality. “It will be really good to cheer on the other teams, we want to take flags and mascots, waving those around to create a sea of maroon.” “Yeah, it’s definitely about creating a unified team experience, helping everyone to develop personally and of course, to enjoy themselves,” added Mackenzie.
Having been involved with numerous club, state and national teams and tours, Matt, Sophie, Mackenzie, and Nic, shared some fantastic advice for the juniors. “It’s all about enjoying yourself and learning from the experience and from other people, especially as we are such a large group across a wide age range. Don’t sit back, don’t be passive, if you want to learn something just ask.” said Mackenzie.
“For most of the U14s, this will be their first Queensland tour. I think the most important thing is to try and take in as much as possible and really embrace the setting that you are in. You’re representing Queensland at an international event, so really embrace the opportunity, play hard and try and learn as much as you can.” added Nic. “Really appreciate how far you have come, everyone who has made the team has done well. Remember you are there for a reason and that reason is to play some good water polo but don’t limit yourself, see how far you can go, especially if it’s your first tour. If you want to start a good representative career, you don’t want to start low and work up, you want to start at high and finish higher.”
“Really appreciate how far you have come, everyone who has made the team has done well. Remember you are there for a reason and that reason is to play some good water polo but don’t limit yourself, see how far you can go, especially if it’s your first tour. If you want to start a good representative career, you don’t want to start low and work up, you want to start at high and finish higher.” said Matt.
Led by four fantastic captains, the tour is set to be a great experience for the athletes and we wish them the best of luck throughout the tournament.
Matches are being live streamed via the following link: http://streamingsports.com.au/WaterPolo2017/index.htm