Our local LGBTI and inclusive water polo team the Brisbane Tritons will be heading to Sydney on October 1 to compete against Sydney and Melbourne in the Tri-State Water Polo Tournament.
Less than 12 months ago, Australia’s other inclusive water polo teams, the Sydney Stingers and Melbourne Surge, called for expressions of interest in the creation of a Brisbane-based water polo team.
Now the mighty Brisbane Tritons have over 50 active members, and next month they’re sending three teams of over 30 players – more than their southern rivals – to the Sydney University Sports and Aquatic Centre to participate in an inaugural three club grudge match against the Stingers and the Surge.
Club officials say this match is the first time that all three have met head-to-head, and they’ve promised an exciting weekend.
“The best thing about the Tritons has been the camaraderie and true sense of belonging to a team,” Tritons vice president Sean Langeveld said.
“While we’re going to the Sydney grudge match as underdogs, I’m incredibly proud of the team spirit and enthusiasm and I’m sure the boys will be putting up a decent fight.”
Tritons president Jeremy Archer said the team was thrilled when the Barracudas Water Polo Club first approached the Tritons and welcomed them into the sport by offering a partnership.
“This is a positive step for equality in sport and the wider community and we’re thankful to have the opportunity to work with one of the premier clubs in Australia to promote diversity and inclusion in water polo,” Jeremy said.
Barracudas Water Polo Club Inc President Tycho Buningh said they see the Tritons as a great opportunity to “promote our sport as a healthy environment free of discrimination of any kind.”
“Inclusion is important, and the power of sport to bring people together shouldn’t be underestimated,” he said.
The Tritons said their coaches – Barracudas Academy coach Simon Daley; Barracudas Coaching Development Manager and former Olympian Mel Rippon, and new head coach Damien Hicks – deserve credit for their ability to train a large team of players with little to no previous water polo experience.
The team have received an outpouring of support from several businesses and community groups including the Valley Pool, who opened up lane space for training; men’s only party night White Wolf, who helped fundraise almost $2,000; and Scoot Airlines, and Tangalooma Resort who have both donated significant prizes which the team are raffling off. The Tritons also recently announced generous sponsorship from Doughnut Time.
“It’s incredible to look back less than 12 months to see where we started. I’m extremely impressed with how fast we’ve built the foundations of an enduring sports team and look forward to the continued future of the Brisbane Tritons,” Vice President Sean Langeveld said.
Brisbane Tritons are committed to being an open and inclusive team of water polo players that encourages participants of any age, level or ability, to play water polo in a fun and social environment. Those interested in participating should contact the team at BrisbaneTritons@gmail.com or via their Facebook page.