WA Masters Water Polo Championships heading to Geraldton this weekend

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Masters water polo gold medal winner Gary Payne (centre) with fellow world champions Terry Mulligan (left) and Harry Neesham.
Camera IconMasters water polo gold medal winner Gary Payne (centre) with fellow world champions Terry Mulligan (left) and Harry Neesham. Credit: Supplied

Legends of Australian water polo are set to compete in Geraldton this weekend for the WA Masters Championship over Saturday and Sunday at the Aquarena.

The competition will feature three 70+ teams, four men’s teams 40+ and four 40+ women’s teams.

FINA Media Committee member Russell McKinnon said the championships were normally held in Bunbury but Geraldton was asked to host this year.

It is the first time Geraldton players have been involved in the masters competition.

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Spectators can look forward to seeing members of the Perth Cockatoos 70+ team in action, who won the gold medal at the 2017 World Aquatics Championship in Budapest and Gwangju (Korea) 2019 FINA World Masters Championships.

The Pink Pointers women’s team, which won the 60+ FINA World Masters Championship in Gwangju, will compete in the mixed grade.

The team features former international and State players as well as former Kiwi international and world-class referee Liz Burman.

Geraldton’s mixed grade team will include local players Anthony Cross, Bruce Sherwood and Russell McKinnon.

In the 40+ men division, Melville Saints, including Seoul 1988 Olympian Alan Taylor, will be joined by two Geraldton teams and the COVID-impacted Barbarians from Perth, who will need bolstering by various other teams.

The Geraldton men’s team will be headed by Ray Pead, Phil Martin, Mick Rock and Bruce McDonald.

In the women’s competition, Peel, a combined Triton and Bunbury team, Medoburn (a combined Dolphins/Cockburn team) and Geraldton will compete against one another.

On show will be Triton’s Sydney 2000 Olympic champion goalkeeper Danielle Woodhouse, Dolphins’ 1995 FINA World Cup champion Sharan Colliss and 2004 Athens Olympian Belinda Brooks.

The Geraldton women’s team will be spearheaded by Aimee Hagan, Michelle Prout and Tania Cross.

Mr McKinnon said masters training would become a regular fixture at the Aquarena on Fridays at 5-6.30pm during winter from next week onwards.

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