Juniors Make a Splash with Olympian Nathan Thomas

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Olympian Nathan Thomas is repeating a junior water polo development  program at the Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatics Centre, , first trialed at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

After only a few weeks in the pool, the participants, aged 14 +, are already showing significant improvement in fundamental skills.

‘Programs such as this, run by Sydney Uni and State Institutes, broaden the base of athletes making the National teams,’ said Thomas.

The next 10 week program will cater for 60 students. A ‘Try Water polo’ program for children aged between 9yrs and 14 years, targets those who have never played water polo before. Those interested in participating should contact Joanne Basha at [email protected].

The Junior Development program draws on the talent from the Sydney Uni Lions’ current National team to coach and mentor those within the program.

‘Some of the kids participating don’t necessarily have the skills of elite athletes, but we are breaking down the skills to help them improve,’ Thomas said.

Thomas’ water polo career has spanned over 300 international matches. Highlights include competing in both the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Olympics, and receiving the Quittner Medal in 2007 for services to Australian water polo.

‘For me, sport is about commitment, hard work, and self belief to carry on with the job no matter what happens. Life is always presenting exciting challenges … the values I’ve developed as a sportsperson continue to serve me well,’ said Thomas.


People can participate in water polo  their entire life, as it doesn’t impact on the body as much as other ball sports played on land. It can be played on a social level right through to elite.

There is no specific ‘blueprint’ for what a water polo player should look like, so people from various sporting and non-sporting backgrounds are welcome.

For more information:

Shari Wakefield – Communications & Publications Co-ordinator, Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness

Phone: 0407 668 312, Email: [email protected], Web: http://www.susf.com.au/

Photos by Fred Etter, Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (more photos available)