Media release – The West 15/10/15
City Beach water polo club president Peter Hughes has been involved with the club on and off since 1979, but he never thought he’d see the achievements of 2015.
The boys’ under-14 and under-18 teams claimed national championships earlier in the year, before the under-16s completed a remarkable triple last week in Hobart, beating the Melville Sharks in an all-WA final.
It is the first time a club has been able win in all three national age groups.
“I am just so proud of the boys who achieved this amazing result,” Hughes said. “When you think of the total commitment required to achieve a feat like this, it’s an all-round team effort that gets you across the line.”
Hughes said the results were a culmination of 13 years of hard work since the club introduced a junior development program in 2002.
Hughes praised head coach Andrei Kovalenko for his role in leading the club to unprecedented success.
Kovalenko — a triple Olympian and former WAIS coach — said it had been a team effort to achieve such strong results.
“You are never thinking about this happening,” he said.
“You are working towards giving the best shot for the kids. Everything is unpredictable. No one would ever think we would be able to go there and win everything.
“That’s why we are so surprised. We did the work, the boys did the work and we get what we get.
“That’s never happened so it’s been quite a difficult task.”
Kovalenko said there were some future Olympians among the group coming through.
He said they hoped to see the same results for the girls.
“We have an excellent group coming through,” he said. “We are always raising the bar. Our next generation needs to be better than the previous one.”
Pictured L-R Andrei Kovalenko, Byron Kelly U14 Captain, Lachlan Vos U16 Captain, Lach Pethick U18 Captain, Peter Hughes