The Alstonville Aquatic Centre will open at the end of the month.
The Alstonville Aquatic Centre will open at the end of the month. Marc Stapelberg

Olympians set to make a splash at pool opening

TWO Olympic water polo champions will be the special guests at the opening of the Alstonville Aquatic Centre on Saturday, July 28.

Rhys Howden and Billy Miller will be joined by two other players from the Brisbane Barracudas Water Polo team, Will Armstrong and Mason Fettell, for the official opening of the centre, which will be held at 11am.

And the players will then host a junior coaching clinic on Sunday, July 29.

Rhys Howden captained the men's water polo team at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and is ready to play his fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Brisbane-born Howden began playing water polo at the age of 14, made his international debut in 2007 and, at 21, he made his Olympic debut in 2008.

Howden played driver for the Sharks, which placed eighth in Beijing.

At his second Olympic appearance in London, he scored 10 goals for Australia in the competition, where Australia placed seventh after going down to Serbia in the quarter-finals.

Billy Miller is also an Olympic veteran, representing Australian at the London 2012 Games.

He has more than 300 national league caps under his belt, playing FINA World Championships in France, Spain, China and Italy.

Will Armstrong and Mason Fettell are both national league players for the Brisbane Barracudas with more than 350 national league caps between them.

Balina Shire's mayor, Cr David Wright, said: "We are delighted to be hosting Olympic athletes at the opening of our new aquatic facilities.”

"What a treat to be able to see world class players giving up their time to spend with our local community,” he said.

"I encourage all of the community to come and see these new state-of-the-art facilities.”

The Ballina Memorial Pool will open on Saturday, July 28, at 9am.

Entry to both the revamped Ballina and Alstonville pools will be free for that weekend.

To register for the water polo clinic, contact Greg Fettell at the Alstonville Aquatic Centre on gregfettell@hotmail.com or phone 6628 0826.



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