It’s no secret that the sporting world has taken a hit in 2020 as it tries to adjust to new restrictions and unforeseen logistical obstacles. The impact of COVID-19 has all but shattered the international scene with competitions being forced to cancel due to an inherent lack of overseas talent.
But with the downfall of the international scene, domestic competition has surged with homegrown Olympic talent looking to sharpen their tools without their international engagements.
The tangible result of this was seen in this weekend’s inaugural Kap7 Australia Clash of the Champions tournament– a fast paced, four-a-side game of beach water polo. Water Polo’s “T20” or “Rugby Sevens” if you will.
The creator of the event Scott Nicholson, and founder of Beach Water Polo Fours, described the game as a hybrid of both water polo and beach handball stating that “a lot of the rules he brought across were actually beach handball rules.”
The matches played featured a collection of some of Australia’s most notable water polo figures, led by the four respective captains Aidan Roach (Great Whites), Joel Dennerley (Hammerheads), Keesja Gofers (Manta Rays) and finally Bronte Halligan (Irukandjis).
The event saw three fiercely competitive yet amicable affairs spectacularly all resulting in penalty shootouts to determine the winner, a fun and exciting component of the beach water polo style of play. The summation of events subsequently crowned the Irukandjis, led by Halligan, as the inaugural Kap7 champions!
Nicholson described how it was “awesome to see the Aussie Sharks and Aussie Stingers play in this format” leaving him with “goosebumps” after watching his work come to fruition.
The stars of the show also had plenty of commendations for the event as a catalyst for increasing viewer attention.
“It’s been an eye opener,” said Dennerley.
“I think it’s something that’s going to attract a lot of viewers to our sport and it’s great to have another format to build up water polo around the world.”