School’s ties to Aussie Olympic teamdeveloper
School’s close ties to Aussie team and opposition
Trinity’s strong connections with both the Australia and Croatian water polo teams will make their Olympic Games showdown a must-watch event for the School community next Tuesday.
The highly-ranked Croatians used Trinity’s water polo pool and gym as a training venue two years ago, playing an exhibition match there against Australia in what was supposed to be an Olympic warm-up until COVID pushed the Games back a year.
Australia’s assistant coach Tim Hamill will be joining Trinity’s sports staff as a consultant and firsts team coach as soon as his post-Tokyo quarantine finishes.
And two Australian players, brothers Blake and Lachlan Edwards, have both previously coached at Trinity, utility player Blake from 2018-21 and centre-forward Lachlan in 2019.
The back story reflects Trinity’s commitment to excellence and means the School community will be taking much more than a passing interest in the match at Tokyo’s Tatsumi water polo centre.
The Croatians, gold medallists in London in 2012 and silver medallists in Rio in 2016, are one of the powerhouses of the sport.
But Trinity’s Director of Water Polo Seamus Rodden predicted the world eighth-ranked Aussies had a good outside chance of reversing their narrow 12-11 loss at Summer Hill in 2019.
He remembered atmosphere at the exhibition match as “brilliant”, saying the capacity crowd was “flabbergasted”.
Spiro Christopoulos, then School Captain, provided thorough poolside introductions for players from both teams, prefect Alex Yee sang the Australian national anthem and local Summer Hill resident Sarah Simic did the honours for Croatia.
Students had the chance to watch Croatia train, and families were able to experience the School’s first ever water polo international.
“Both teams were blown away by the facilities at Trinity, with the 50m pool at water polo depth (two metres) the whole way,” said Mr Rodden, a former NSW rep player and now a PDHPE teacher and Housemaster (Middle School Murphy).
“It was a great time for students and families. Not many schools would have, or could have, provided that opportunity.
“It started as an out-there, outlandish idea which became a reality after eight months of planning and hard work.”
Australia went down to the strong Montenegro team 15-10 in their opening match of the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, after leading 7-6 at half time.
They now meet Croatia on Tuesday at 2050 AEST before facing Serbia then Kazakhstan.
Mr Rodden predicts: “It will be close.”
Take a look at some highlights from the above mentioned International Exhibition from 2019 below.