IN TRAINING: Preparing to make a splash at the forthcoming national junior water polo competition in Melbourne are (clockwise from top right): Max Dostine, Jono Cusack, Sam Stanek and Luke Danaher.
IN TRAINING: Preparing to make a splash at the forthcoming national junior water polo competition in Melbourne are (clockwise from top right): Max Dostine, Jono Cusack, Sam Stanek and Luke Danaher. Stuart Turner

Luke working hard to make water polo representative teams

WHEN it comes to working hard at sport, Luke Danaher takes some stopping.

The 15-year-old is currently preparing with his Alstonville Junior Water Polo squad for the 2013 16-and-under club national championships.

As well as training three times a week, he also plays Monday and Friday night competitions and has earned state Combined Catholic College representative honours.

Luke, of Lismore's St John's College Woodlawn, said he was enjoying reaching new heights in the sport.

"I always want to improve and make representative teams," he said.

"I'm pretty proud to be part of the club.

"It's pretty exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how we go."

Some of the best young water polo players from across the country will be involved in next month's event.

The Alstonville club will face metropolitan teams and much larger clubs at the competition.

Year nine student Luke was a keen swimmer as a child and has been playing water polo about five years.

"It is a fun sport because it's not easy," he said. "It is quite challenging.

"I have friends who play and it is a lot of fun.

"I think we are looking to get a top eight position (at the competition). That will be pretty good going."

Squad coach Mal Lewis said he was excited about seeing his team perform at the tournament, to be held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

"Every time our club plays these big teams, we give them a good game," he said.

"I have been involved with water polo for a few years and the most amazing thing is that this area and this club keeps producing players who can go to a competition like this.

"I think it's an advantage that we are a small club. Our players play for each other a lot more than players from bigger clubs.

"These guys put in the hard work at training. They are always striving to improve.

"It is great to see."

The club is hosting a Come and Try session for new players on its first Friday night competition of the forthcoming season.

Juniors aged eight-18 are welcome at the event, which takes place at Alstonville Swimming Pool on October 11 (6pm).

For more information, visit http://www.ajwp.com.au.



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