Tri-State Tournament expected to break records
HUNDREDS of water polo athletes will make a splash in Geelong next weekend with the return of the Tri-State Championships over February 16-18.
Hosted by the Geelong Marlins Water Polo Club at Kardinia Aquatic Centre, the event invites water polo clubs from all over the country to enter teams in age brackets ranging from Under 12s to Under 18s.
Geelong Marlins junior coordinator Deb Johnson said the tournament, expected to be its largest to date, is a great opportunity to showcase the sport of water polo with more than 50 teams registered.
“The Tri-State Tournament provides an inclusive, fun, safe, community event for players from 8-18 years, of all abilities.
“It gives junior players exposure to larger water polo events in a well-planned event environment and allows players to watch some of the elite junior player complete.
“Tri-State is the only tournament where different age groups are at same venue, enabling older competitors to act as mentors and role models.
“Clubs love coming together supporting local tourism, accommodation, businesses, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a way to build lifelong friendships within clubs and teams.”
Geelong Marlins were announced as the 2022 Good Sports Junior Club of the Year early last year and enjoyed a strong season across its program.
Johnson said the three days of the event were lively, with the 2023 tournament the biggest to date with a record 45 teams from regional Victoria, regional NSW, Metro Melbourne, and Tasmania participating.
“Once Save the Date was announced for 2024, many clubs showed expressions of interest.
“Approximately 500 junior competitors will be attending in 2024 along with coaches, managers, family, and spectators.
“It’s our major fundraiser with all funds going straight back into the club, ensuring we keep fees as cheap as possible, replacing old and broken equipment, always keeping merchandise at cost using local suppliers.”