A heartening message from Tai McIsaak


Tai McIsaac

Hi Erkin, How are you? Hope you are well and so to the family? I just wanted to send you a message to let you know how much of an influence you have had on not only my Water Polo career but also my Rugby career as well. The work ethic and commitment to training and sports in general really helped me to develop in everything I have chosen to do to this day. Your influence has also lead me too to coaching. After I retired from playing professionally I have become a coach in Japan, with the view to get back to Australia and some day coach the Wallabies. I know you may get feedback from time to time about your coaching, but I just wanted to thank you for everything you helped me to achieve both in Water Polo and Rugby. Hope we can catch up some time in the near future. Thank you again. Tai McIsaac.

In 1995, at the World championships in Dunkerque, France, the Australian Junior Men’s team reached a semi-final stage for the first time in history, narrowly missing on the Bronze medals (a detailed account will be posted soon). Playing in a very demanding centre-forward position, Tai was instrumental in achieving that result. His performance was way above  expectations since his water polo experience was very limited at the time. His  fighting spirit, work ethic, good-natured personality and integrity were the main components of his success. Thank you Tai! I wish you well in all your endeavours!

1995 AUS junior team 5 001

Back row – left to right: Shane Graham (Assistant coach), Doug Cocking (Assistant coach), Antony Matkovich, Rafael Sterk, Gavin Woods, Ryan Moar, Paul Hofman, Nick May, Brad Hiskins (physio), Erkin Shagaev (Head coach) and John Bird (Referee). Front row: Ron Morelli (Assistant coach), Adrian Bolt, Chris Luyendyk, Peter Soros, Renae Burdack, Tai McIsaac, Scott Waterman, Daniel Carr and Ross Simpson (Manager)

Tai McIsaac’s rugby career achievements:

Wallabies Captains Run

Wallabies Captains Run
2006 Wallabies Caps – 9

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

4 Responses to A heartening message from Tai McIsaak

  1. Mark grooby says:

    Erkin, nice to know you had a positive influence. Nice of Tai to write to you and shows a lot about his character. A talented sportsman.

    • Mark, thank you for your comments. He was at the time and, I believe, is an unassuming quiet fighter.

    • Renae Burdack says:

      Yes, Erkin had a very positive influence on a lot of us. Sharing his technical and tactical knowledge are just the beginning. Unfortunately, not everyone has always recognised just how valuable his contributions have been. In my experience (5 years playing under him), Erkin demonstrated and demanded dedication, preparation, teamwork, plus physical and mental toughness. These are qualities that have aided many of us in our endeavours of water polo, work, study and life in general.

      It is great to see someone like Tai, who has achieved so much, take the time to publicly recognise Erkin’s contribution.

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