Bears chasing state gold

Published 7:30am 19 January 2021

Bears chasing state gold
Words by Nick Crockford

North Brisbane Polo Bears, which draws players from across the Moreton Bay Region, is sending a record number of teams to the Water Polo Queensland State Titles this week.

The Bears’ 11 squads, ranging from Under 12s to Opens, will be among 129 teams at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, from January 19-25.

Lining up in Bear’s colours will be players from the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Morayfield and the Redcliffe Peninsula down to Albany Creek, Sandgate and Brighton.

Bears chasing state gold

Image caption: Polo Bears' Under 16 Maroon team: Back row from left - Eliza Piaseki, Acacia Rich, Greer Wallace, Luella Jensen, Matilda Sinnamon, Daisy Brown, Ariana Robinson. Front Row from left - Grace Castle, Kate Plowman, India Castle, Lucy Dunning, Stella Stuart, Tiana Doyle.

Good record

They will face teams which have travelled from as far as Townsville and Rockhampton, as well as shorter trips from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Bears have a good record at the state titles – and the Brisbane water polo competitions - with teams placing in the top four of five across all age groups and some medaling.

However, Megan Weir, the Under 18 Girls and Premiership-winning Open Women’s coach, said that was not the only yardstick for the club.

Bears chasing state gold

Image caption: Bears' Under 18 Maroon team: From left - Emily Manning, Eliza Piaseki, Kate Plowman, Ariana Robinson, Stella Stewart, Chloe Tuxworth, Jaden Weir

First time

“At state level, of course we hope to do well, but success is also getting teams into the competition,” she said.

“This is the highest number of (Bears) teams to participate, getting kids out there, exposing them to the state selectors and stuff like that.

“For some it will be the first time at this level. The under 12s are generally new.”

The Under 12 and Under 16 State Titles start the week followed by the 14s, 18s and Opens making up 1677 competitors, playing more than 350 matches, with 115 coaches, 50 referees and 2000 spectators expected at the Gold Coast venue.

Bears chasing state gold

Image caption:  Bears under 14 team: Back row from left to right: Bless Daly, Grace Castle, Emily Banbury, India Castle, Amelie Hoefel, Ali McCarthy, Front row left to right Mia Doyle, Sarah Cockburn, Alexa Rush, Lucy Stuart, and Ana Jaramillo

Come and try

North Brisbane Polo Bears run come-and-try clinics for those wishing to play water polo.

The club’s coaches include Naomi McCarthy (nee Castle), who was part of the gold-medal winning Australian women’s team at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Main picture: Some of North Brisbane Polo Bears' Redcliffe-based players, from left - George McLennan, Mia Doyle, Amelie Hoefel, Tiana Doyle, Jaden Weir.

Further details are available on the club’s website and Facebook pages.

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