Three UniSA Students Set to Take on the World in Canoe Polo

Deanna Kennedy


As the 2024 International Canoe Federation Canoe Polo World Championships loom closer, anticipation mounts. Set to take place from October 15th to 20th in Deqing, Huzhou, this biennial event promises to be a showcase of skill, teamwork, and determination.

Canoe Polo, a fast-paced team sport played on 35m x 23m pitches either in a swimming pool or open water, sees teams of five paddlers battling it out to score goals in a net suspended 2m above the water. With matches comprising two halves of 10 minutes each, the team with the most goals win.

Among the athletes to compete are three promising talents studying at UniSA; Alex Trewartha, Fred Sands, and Will Polley. Alex, studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical and Mechatronics) and Fred, studying Bachelor of Secondary Education (Honours), have secured spots in the Australian U21 Men’s Canoe Polo Team. Having showcased their skills in the U21 Oceania Canoe Polo Championships last year, they now aim to make their mark on the full international stage.

Meanwhile, Will, at 23 years old, studying a Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Leadership, brings a wealth of experience to the Australian Men’s Canoe Polo Team. Having already represented Australia at senior level, Will is poised to lead the charge against tough competition from 24 countries worldwide. His prior experience in the Open Men’s Oceania Canoe Polo Championships will undoubtedly serve him well in the upcoming competition.

Despite the formidable competition, these athletes are not alone in their journey. All three are part of the UniSA Sport Athlete Development Program, which provides crucial support in areas such as allied health and strength and conditioning. Balancing their academic pursuits with rigorous training schedules, these athletes epitomize dedication and perseverance.

With European countries traditionally dominating the World Championships, the Australian teams face an uphill battle. However, with determination and unwavering support behind them, Alex, Fred, and Will are ready to take on the challenge and represent their country with pride.

As the countdown to the world championship begins, the UniSA community rallies behind its student-athletes, wishing them well in their final preparations. With eyes set on the ultimate prize, these athletes are poised to make their mark on the world stage and inspire future generations of sporting enthusiasts.

Canoe Polo photo taken by Carolyn J Cooper


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