LOCAL LIFE: Meet the local 20-year-old at the top of the water polo world

04 September 2018

Water Polo is rapidly gaining in popularity amongst Queensland kids. 
We chat to local 20-year-old Alice Williams from the Aussie Stingers to find 
out what it takes to get to the top of the water polo world.

How did you get started in water polo, and how old were you?

Mum had us swimming from an early age, so I always like being in the water, and once I got my technique right I was a strong swimmer. But I was 10 years old when that love for water led me to trying water polo – both my sister and I started playing for a club that a family friend was a member of. I was immediately hooked; I loved the competition!

I started out playing for my school, and had a great run with coaches. Then from there I was selected for my first nationals in 2014.

What do you love MOST about the sport?

I love everything! I love the water but also used to play a lot of netball when I was a kid So, the fact I could have a ball in the water was so much fun! Then to add heaps of elements to swimming as well as the physicality of the game – it really drew me to it. Also, I’m very competitive and I love competing alongside 12 other people. So, I’m incredibly passionate about all aspects of water polo.

How does it feel, making it onto the national team?

It’s amazing! A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into getting myself to where I am now. Not just from me but the people around me. I love representing my country and am so proud to do so.

When did the dream of representing your country seem achievable?

I guess when I was around 14 or 15, and I was making Queensland teams for age groups above me, I started to think ‘I must be alright at this sport!’ So, I just kept pursuing it. When I first heard that I had a chance of making the Australian team all my sights were set on that. That’s all I wanted to do.

What does a typical day of training look like?

In a camp situation we’d have two pool sessions a day of two and a half to three hours. And then we also have about an hour and half of gym, every other day. When at home, training includes swimming three times a week, a gym session three times a week and of course water polo games as well – which are happening constantly.

I play for the Queensland Breakers in the Australian National Water Polo League (whose season is through summer) where we play two to four games a week. And the International season, where I play for the Aussie Stingers, is April to September. So, 
we need to be at peak fitness all year round!

What are you training for now?

I’ve just come back from Europe where the senior team were training for three weeks and preparing for the World Cup in Russia later in the year. That’s our main focus as the World Cup is the biggest competition of the year.

What do you do in your 
spare time?

I study – I’m at QUT doing a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences. And I also do some coaching when I can find the time. I play a lot of social sports with my friends – such as touch and netball. I also love a bit of Netflix – my favourite show right now is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But mostly, I sleep! Whenever I get chance to get to bed I hit the pillow hard!

How do you manage to fit study in as well?!

Yeah, it’s a juggle, and can pretty difficult sometimes! Uni is really helpful and supportive, and I’m only studying part-time so I have a while to go! My focus is primarily on water polo right now, so I just try and fit everything else around that.

What are you goals for your water polo career?

I’d definitely love to go to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 – that is my ultimate dream.

What is your mantra – what keeps you going when the training gets tough?

I always say: ‘Just keep swimming!’ That’s 
my favourite quote from Finding Nemo and it’s so relevant.

So anytime I’m feeling flat, I just remind myself to keep just keep going – I remember my goal of getting to the Olympics and the feeling of being able to be there, and that keeps me motivated.

If you weren’t a water polo player, what would you be?

I would definitely still be involved in water polo somehow, whether socially or professionally coaching. And I would certainly be at Uni a lot more than I am right now!

What tips do you have for Queensland kids who would like to get into water polo?

Definitely do it, it’s really fun! If you love a ball sport, and love swimming then you are sure to enjoy it.

Water Polo Queensland puts on lots of training camps and free trial sessions, so head along to one of those, bring your friends along too – as it’s a great game to play with your friends, especially if you are competitive.

To find out more about getting involved in water polo in your area, head to waterpoloqld.com.au

Written by

Angela Sutherland

After spending over 20 years on the editorial desks of some the leading magazine publishing houses of London and Sydney, Angela swapped the city frenzy for a Queensland sea change. Now owner and editor of Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City, she loves spending her days documenting and travelling the crazy road of family life alongside every mum and dad. 

When she’s not at her desk buried in magazine stories, you’ll often find her entrenched in a heated game of beach cricket, or being utterly outrun by her inventive seven-year-old and rambunctious threenager.

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