UWA Torpedoes win Australian U18 Championships


At the recently held Australian National U18 championships the winning boys team was University of Western Australia Torpedoes. In the final, they beat a strong Cronulla Sharks outfit, whose many players have had the experience and advantage of playing in National League matches throughout this season.

The Torpedoes are coached by Olympic games Bronze medallist, Andrei Kovalenko, who has done an excellent job in creating a strong water polo centre in Perth under difficult circumstances, as an alternative to the Melville Club.

Coming from the great water polo school of the Soviet Union, Andrei was a world class player and one of the top shooters in the world. He was invited by AWPI prior to the 2000 Olympics to help Australia improve on previous Olympic results. Subsequently, he settled in Perth and brought his entire family to start a new life in this country.

In the early 2000’s, Andrei was appointed Australian National Junior coach. At the time he was also Head coach of the Western Australian National Training Centre. During his tenure in these positions, both Australian and Western Australian water polo greatly benefited not only from his knowledge and experience but also from his selfless work ethic and organisational skills.

Many of the current members of the Junior and Senior Australian squads as well as of both the National League clubs in WA have been coached by Kovalenko and have developed into good quality players.

For the reasons that are not quite clear to me, Australian Water Polo did not reappoint Andrei in either of those positions when he reapplied for them thereafter.

The above-mentioned qualities as well as his passionate love for water polo are also behind his Club’s latest successes at both junior and senior levels (see the posts ‘2012 NWPL: Balmain 8: 9 UWA Torpedoes’ and ‘2012 NWPL: Balmain 5 : 8 UWA Torpedoes’). Having started from a very low base, the latest achievements did not come easily. It has taken several years of hard work to get to the current level but the quality of water polo that Kovalenko’s teams have been displaying speak for themselves.

Congratulations to Andrei, the UWA Torpedoes and his players. There is no doubt there will be more successful performances by the teams and players who Andrei Kovalenko has been coaching. We wish him well in all his endeavours!

About Erkin Эркин Shagaev Шагаев
European, world, Olympic champion, two times World Cup winner Чемпион Европы, мира, Олимпийских игр, двукратный обладатель Кубка мира

One Response to UWA Torpedoes win Australian U18 Championships

  1. JS says:

    Personaly this is of no surprise at all. Andrei is a rare person in the water polo community that (a) genuinely cares about the sport (b) understands the sport. Andrei has worked extremely hard in WA, producing players such as Aaron Younger, Luke Quinliven, Daniel Lawrence, Joseph Balczer, Sasha Kovalenko, who are currently among the leading players in the domestic league with Younger showing his strong schooling in Europe for the past couple of years. Andrei’s efforts need to be brought to light and people in the community need to know the good work that he has done and continues to do.

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