Junior Season 19-20 Wrap!

This newsletter is to set out some of the achievements of the Junior Division of the UWA Water Polo Club in Season 2019/2020 and acknowledge the efforts of all players, coaches, managers and parents in what has been a wonderful season.   It is obviously extremely disappointing that as a Club we were unable to celebrate together in the normal Junior Windup format. Please take the time to review this summary.

WPWAI Junior State League

In season 2019/20 UWA Waterpolo Club had 24 teams playing in Junior State League across the Sunday and Monday night competitions.  This number of teams competing cannot be achieved without the significant efforts of our training coaches Damian Kelly, Vaughn Thomson, Andrei Kovalenko, Raul Ricci and Sam Shead, our Game night coaches and Team Managers. The Club would like to thank parents for their efforts in supporting their children and acting as table officials, particularly all those parents who undertook the Waterpolo Australia accreditation for Competition Officials.  We would encourage parents to undertake this free course.

Congratulations to all teams on their effort and work throughout the season.

If the WPWA Finals Series had proceeded UWA would have had 14 teams competing – an amazing result for our Club.

Special mention to the following teams who finished top of the Ladder and were awarded 2019/2020 WPWAI Premiership flags:
U18A Boys Blue coached by Oli Davis and managed by Liesl Brogan
U16A Boys Bears coached by Stephen Cook and managed by Maryanne Marshall
U16A Girls Bears coached by Kim Johnson, managed by Philippa Johnson

Club Uniform

Our Club is well recognised across Australia. Our Uniform Shop Co-Ordinator, Denise Dalton keeps us all looking our best.  When UWA teams turn up at Junior State League or Australian Youth Championships, our presentation in uniform supports the professional image of our Club.  The Club is reviewing our uniform so watch this space.  Thanks Denise!

Polo Bear Cafe

This year the Club employed Sonya Orso as Club Manager for our café and bar. Sonya is to be congratulated on her efforts and the new initiatives she introduced in the Polo Bear Cafe. Thank you to all the parents, across all age groups, for their help at Flippaball on BBQ roster. This was new this year to spread the work load and ensure the continued relationship between age groups and our newest club members at Flippaball level. The feedback about the nights has been very positive and we will continue with these rosters across all age groups next season.  Thanks also to the Polo Bear café team of Gabi Sayer, Will Hart, Bec Gibb and Holly Rose.

Fairest and Best Players

Fairest and Best awards are based on WPWAI votes from JSL games, while U14 Most Improved are selected by team coaches.


Thank you to Michelle Sayer as U14 Delegate.

Blue coached by Sam Shead assisted by Glenda Morgan, managed by Sarah and John Skeldon
Most Improved – Nina Musk
Fairest and Best – Ava Skeldon

Gold coached by Sam Shead assisted by Claire Durston, managed by Melissa Haynes
Most Improved – Kate Colthart
Fairest and Best – Olivia Haynes

Green coached by Raul Ricci assisted by Pippa Pedley, managed by Julia Feutrill
Most Improved – Evie Salt
Fairest and Best – Angela Williams

White coached by Raul Ricci assisted by Claire Whitaker, managed by Dex De Bruin
Most Improved – Emily Murdoch and Amaia Roberts
Fairest and Best – Liberty Sheldrick

 U14 Girls


Thank you to Travis Smith as U14 Delegate.

Bears coached by Andrew Barber, managed by Holly Lonnqvist
Most Improved – Mitchell Roche
Fairest and Best – Tim Lonnqvist also Waterpolo WA State League Fairest & Best recipient

Blue coached by Bryon Kelly, managed by Melinda Braddock
Most Improved – Llewyn Thurston
Fairest and Best – Mack Williams

Gold coached by Quentin Megson, managed by Suzette Pritchard
Most Improved – Benji Pritchard
Fairest and Best – Luke Megson

Green coached by Ben and Matt Howie, managed by Michael Panegyres
Most Improved – Lachlan Giles
Fairest and Best – Tom Edibam

Cubs coached by Cliff Woods, managed by Penny Regan
Fairest and Best – Jake Taboni
MVP – Sam Regan
Most Improved – Will Massey


Thank you to Philippa Johnson as U16 Delegate. It is acknowledged that this was her 1st year as Delegate.        

White coached by Bec and Tash Liddle, managed by Justin Flavel
Fairest and Best – Emma King

Bears coached by Kim Johnson, managed by Philippa Johnson
Fairest and Best – Alice Williams

Gold coached by Alison Weisler, managed by Jennifer Taboni
Fairest and Best – Amelia Taboni

In U16 two Most Improved awards are made by Head Coaches, one in each age group:

Born 2005 Most Improved – Chloe Schortinghuis
Born 2004 Most Improved – Holly Murdoch


Thank you to Maryanne Marshall as U16 Delegate

Bears coached by Stephen Cook, managed by Maryanne Marshall
Fairest and Best – Rory Dalton

Blue coached by Tarrin Williams, managed by Paul and Lisa Lilleyman
Fairest and Best – Owen Lilleyman also Waterpolo WA State League Fairest & Best recipient

Green coached by Stephen Cook, managed by Anne Maree Cook
Fairest and Best – Alex Graham

In U16 two Most Improved awards are made by Head Coaches, one in each age group:

Born 2005 Most Improved – Marcus Burr
Born 2004 Most Improved – Anton Komninos

04 05 Most Improved


Special acknowledgment is made of our Under 18 age group. The Club would like to recognise all our Born 2002 players who move on to Senior Grades next season.  Many of these young adults have been with us since Flippaball and we hope they will continue playing within the Senior club and continue the friendships they have developed – they can be life-long friendships. This is not the way we wished to see you finish your junior playing years.


Thank you to Julie Tomas as U18 Girls Delegate.  It is acknowledged that this was her 1st year as Delegate.        

Bears – Coached by Tayla Barbas, managed by Julie Tomas
Fairest and Best – Rebecca Gibb also Waterpolo WA State League Fairest & Best recipient

Blue– Coached by Kim Johnson and managed by Philippa Johnson
Fairest and Best – Isabella Sayer

White – Coached by Sana Brotherson and managed by Gretchen Calder
Fairest and Best – Iman Kaplanian


Particular mention should be made of the Born 02 boys who have won Gold medals at U14 National Championships, U16 National Championships and bronze at U18 Australian Youth Championships, this shows a huge commitment to the Club.

Thank you Rob Lodge as U18 Boys Delegate another new Delegate this season.

Bears Coached by Tarrin Williams managed by Nicole Talbot
Fairest and Best – Campbell McAullay

Blue Coached by Oliver Davis managed by Liesl Brogan
Fairest and Best – Andrew Barber also Waterpolo WA State League Fairest & Best recipient

Green Coached by Matt Stacy managed by Kate Evelegh
Fairest and Best – Noah Brown

Assoc winners 2020

Association winners – Andrew, Tim, Owen and Bec

Junior Club Awards:

Referee Accreditation

This year the Club ran a guided Community Referee accreditation for Juniors.

Congratulations Sophie Johnson, Cerys Evans, Tom Simich, Tom Regan, Rory Dalton, Gabrielle Sayer, Jasmine Terry, Gretl Petelczyc, Owen Lilleyman, Owen Terry, Abigail Heymans, Ari Pearson and Sinan Wehrli who successfully completed the accreditation.

A new Award has been introduced to acknowledge the importance of referees to our game.

The Junior Referee Award acknowledges a member who has undertaken a WPA Referee accreditation, has shown a commitment to assisting with Club refereeing and has demonstrates considerable development and potential as a Referee.

The inaugural winner of this Junior Referee Award is:  Ari Pearson


There are great opportunities at UWA to play water polo at an elite level.

The U14 Rising Star and U16 Most Outstanding Junior Awards are presented to players who demonstrate the potential for a successful future in water polo.  These awards are chosen by our Head Coaches and take into consideration training, attitude and game performance.

UWA U14 Rising Star Awards

Sarah Major

Edward Handley

U14 Rising

UWA U16 Most Outstanding Player

Sophie Johnson

Owen Lilleyman

U16 Outstanding

Junior Polo Bear Award

Juniors play an important role within our Club in roles as coaches, referees and helpers at Flippaball and our District School Competition. The support is invaluable and the Club thanks all Juniors who contributed in the 2019/20 Season. We hope that you enjoyed the experience and will continue to volunteer.

The Junior Polo Bear Award is awarded to a junior member who is an all-rounder. Who represents our Club with excellence, showing dedication and commitment to the Club. They give their best in the pool, when they train and play, and are always willing to help around the Club. They exhibit a positive attitude, leadership and act as a great example for younger players.

We had several nominations this year. Acknowledgment is made of the U16 Girls Daisy Morse, Olivia Pearce, Holly Murdoch, Peri Edwards and Sophie Johnson who helped at the Flippaball Come and Try day, Floreat Forum club day, Club Busy Bee, Flippaball refereeing and also coached teams. They attended training regularly and played multiple games a week. They are also regular supporters of the Torpedoes. Well done to you all.

The Junior Polo Bear in 2019/20 is awarded to Andrew Barber.

Andrew began his waterpolo with UWA at Flippaball with a City Beach Primary team. He was identified early as a promising left hander and began JSL as an U13. He won the Club’s U14 Rising Star award in 2016.  He won gold medals at U14 and U16 National Championships and a bronze at U18 Australian Youth Championships in 2020, captaining the Born 02 team for U16 and U18. He has won the Waterpolo WA State League U14, U16 and U18 Fairest and Best award. In 2019 he completed his Development coach accreditation and has coached an U14 team for the past 2 seasons and is well respected by the players and parents. He has also always made himself available for DSC refereeing when required and assists at the club BBQ whenever required. This is on top of a busy schedule as a WAIS athlete, finishing ATAR in 2019 and making his debut in Torpedoes in 2020. He is a dedicated club member that sets a great example both in and out of the pool for all Juniors. Congratulations to Andrew and best wishes in your Senior water polo.

Jnr of Year