High-level water polo tournament at Alstonville pool
ALSTONVILLE is set to host a tri-series water polo tournament between the Australian and New Zealand Combined High School teams starting this weekend.
The first round of competition will be played Sunday with male and female competition.
It is a coup for Alstonville Aquatic Centre to be hosting the international event for the first time.
Alstonville has been a hub for some of the best water polo players on the Far North Coast for several years
Plenty have gone on to represent Queensland state junior teams while others have made NSW Combined High School teams.
Alstonville pool completed a major upgrade last year and this could be the first of a few big tournaments to come.
“We’re very lucky and happy to be able to get something like this,” facility manager Greg Fettell said.
“NSW Water Polo has shown interest in holding a number of other events here over the next 12 months.
“This is the first time we’ve had anything of this high-level calibre at the pool, certainly for water polo.”
It all starts Sunday while the Australian team has a training session at the pool today and tomorrow.
FNC water polo players Korin Caldwell, Jayden Whittle and Francis Rupnik have been invited to train with the Australian team.
Rupnik was also named to play for Queensland against New Zealand in a warm-up game on the Gold Coast.
“It will be great for the local guys to get in and do some training with the Australian team,” Fettell said.
“Francis is probably our best junior product at the moment and he’s up in Queensland playing against National League players.
“He trains hard and any of the extra stuff that comes his way, he really deserves.
“New Zealand has a really strong junior base and they’ll definitely have a decent squad.”
The opening games will be played Sunday between 1pm and 4pm before they continue under lights between 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday night.
The tournament wraps up on Wednesday with games between 10am and 1pm.
Spectators are encouraged to attend all three days.