Western Australian Country Championships are held annually across the state by host regional associations. In 2018, Peel WP hosted the event over the long weekend in March, at Rockingham Aquatic centre.
These Championships are a fantastic opportunity for players across the regional areas to come together to fight for bragging rights for the year to come.
This year we saw the return of Busselton water polo to the competition with a dedicated men’s team. The forces from the north, Karratha, Port Hedland and Geraldton all entering in both a women’s and men’s team, whilst their southern counterparts Bunbury and Peel determined to better both their positions from the previous year held in Geraldton.
The Country Championships were privileged to host Honourable Reece Whitby at the finals on Sunday to watch reigning champions Geraldton take on a fit Bunbury side for the women’s final, in which Geraldton proved to be the Women’s Champions again for 2018. Whilst the men had a close final seeing the home side Peel take control in the last few minutes against a dominant Port Hedland team throughout the rounds.
This was Peel Water Polo Associations third time hosting the event since the championships started but their first time walking away victorious with a shield for either men’s or women’s side.
These Championships are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the talent from our regions, and an opportunity for players to be selected to represent the state at the Australian Country Championships. This year the national championships were held in Rockhampton, QLD in May. After a few years hiatus for WA attending the national championships, it was encouraging to see two strong teams be sent to Rockhampton to represent WA.
TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Marko Draksimovic – Peel
HIGHEST GOAL-SCORER: Jayden Smith – Peel
GRAND FINAL MVP: Marko Draksimovic – Peel
ALL-STAR TEAM: Marko Draksimovic (Peel), Jayden Smith (Peel), Jayden Horne (Bunbury), Josh Blair (Hedland), Jack Deschamp (Bunbury), Mitch Gerritzen (Busselton), Jarrod English (Bunbury), Corey Smith (Geraldton), Justin Angove (Karratha), Brad Horsman (Hedland), Daniel Lacey (Hedland), Reece Cirulis (Hedland) and Tim Bailey (Peel).
TOURNAMENT MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Eliesha Browne – Geraldton
HIGHEST GOAL-SCORER: Caitlin Read – Peel
GRAND FINAL MVP: Emma Smith – Geraldton
ALL-STAR TEAM: Eliesha Browne (Geraldton), Emma Smith (Geraldton), Alisha Gilbert (Geraldton), Caitlin Read (Peel), Kylie English (Bunbury), Anthea Brown (Bunbury), Chelsey Barrett (Peel), Belinda Brooks (Karratha), Ellie Pead (Geraldton), Kate Kalajzich (Karratha), Anouska Angove (Karratha), Izabella Schultz (Geraldton), Tenielle Hawke (Geraldton).
2018 WPWACI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
|PRESIDENT||Justin Angove (Karratha)||VICE PRESIDENT||Ray Pead (Geraldton)|
|TREASURER||Scott Gerhardt (Hedland)||SECRETARY||Anouska Angove (Karratha)|
|COMMITTEE MEMBER||Alice Rotheram (Bunbury)||COMMITTEE MEMBER||Kristy Scafidi (Peel)|
|COMMITTEE MEMBER||Rob Dawson (Busselton)||WPWAI CEO||Ben Haywood|