The Fours' Four Favourite Season Moments
To celebrate the end of another fantastic Beach Water Polo Fours season, we are going to count down our four favourite moments. From Wollongong, to Bundeena, Manly and Port Stephens, these are the moments that we will remember for years to come. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Number Four: A Family Affair
There aren't many opportunities in water polo to tog up and play with your family, so when more than 27 family members signed up to our events, and 17 of them were in the same teams, we were pretty chuffed.
A few notable mentions go to Olympic sisters Holly Lincoln-Smith and Emma Louise Lincoln- Smith, who used their sisterly bond and exceptional taste in swimwear to take out the women's competition at Wollongong. Then there were the three Gilchrist boys at Cronulla, who together actually made up half of their winning men’s team. And finally, 16 year old Meg Shaw and her dad Chris who together showed the only thing stronger than a father-daughter combo is Quattro Fromaggio.
It's no secret that sometimes family members (especially siblings) just make you want to scream, but nothing is better at relieving stress than getting in the water together (and maybe giving them a good dunking underwater)!
Number Three: The Elements
Some of the best and worst parts of Beach Water Polo Fours is the unpredictable nature of the outdoor environment and it’s elements. While the beach is the ultimate destination on a perfect summer day, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
What are the most memorable elements? Well there are quite a few.
At Wollongong, a 30km/hr wind gust picked up our brand new (and by brand new, we mean out of the plastic, first time on the beach kind of new) branded marque like it was a feather and threw it upside down. It was one of those moments that some of us still cannot laugh about.
Cronulla was a bit different. On Saturday you might have seen what looked like Fours founder Scott Nicholson sprinting into the water and swimming like he’s the new Kyle Chalmers. He was actually chasing our boat that was quite quickly being taken by the currents out to sea.
The next day we were greeted by ice cold, freezing water currents that left boys preferring to sit out in the rain on the pontoons than actually get in the water.
At Port Stephens we got currents that quite literally had us with trusses tangled in the air, thinking we would have to cancel the event. And then there was the rain. The continuous, non-stop rain. But who would complain about getting wet at a water polo tournament?
With the rain comes the sun, and at every event we have had sunshine that gave us plenty of reasons to smile and want to stay in the water all day. While the elements have provided more than a few challenges, we would rather be outside in the ocean with the wind, rain and sunshine than in a pool any day of the week.
Number Two: The Comeback Kids.
While one of the goals of Beach Water Polo Fours is to introduce people to the sport of water polo, we also want to give past players a fun and enjoyable way to get back in the water.
This season we were fortunate enough to have more than a few familiar faces put their break from water polo on hold to join us at the beach. We have already told you the incredible story behind Rhys Holden’s return to the game, but did you know Holly Lincoln Smith, Mel Rippon, Maureen O'Toole, Nicola Cotterill, Johnno Cotterill and Jana Leissman all also returned to the sport when they signed up for Beach Water Polo Fours?
On top of that, team’s The Beaches and Smiley Fritz admitted that while they can’t play in a local competition due to the time constraints, the event was the perfect way to get the team back together and play again.
So, if you are a long time water polo frother but have been out of the game for a while - Fours is the best way back.
Number One: Our Grand Final Girl
There is nothing we like more than when a girl shows the boys how it’s done. And boy, did this girl show them.
The men’s competition at Beach Water Polo Fours Manly was full of some incredible players, from Johnno Cotterill to Michael Rosenthal to Tom Kearns. So, when the Baa Baas got in touch and said they wanted to put 16-year-old Meg Shaw in goals for the day, our first question was, “why would she want to do that?!” and our second question was, “why would she want to do that?!”
In every single game played, the men tried their absolute hardest to get the goal in the back of the net, and if that meant hitting a girl in the face, so be it. But Meg stood strong, making some of the best saves we have ever seen in a game of water polo. She proved time and time again that she could not only hold her own against the men but quite convincingly beat them, too.
Even standing next to Olympian Johnno Cotterill, there is no doubt in our mind that she was the most valuable player on that team. That was our favourite moment.