Published Thu 22 Feb 2024

The Australian Waterpolo League (AWL) will enter its fourth week, as teams prepare for more water polo action this weekend.

While half of the teams will enjoy a scheduled bye, the remaining six womens and men’s teams will go head to head from Saturday 24 to Sunday 25 February.

Despite a reduced number of games, the competition will be equally as fierce this weekend as the competing teams go head to head to secure all-important Championship points.

Captain of the Griffith Uni Queensland Thunder, Elle Armit will not be taking her eye off the ball this weekend, with the team coming up against 2023 defending champions, the Sydney Uni Lions.

“We’re really looking forward to the weekend's game against the Sydney Uni Lions and the challenge it will bring,” said Armit.

“As a team, we’ve been focusing on keeping it simple and getting the basics right at the moment. We have a new coach this season and a lot of new juniors coming through, so it’s been a good time to get those connections right, keep a calm mind and make great decisions in the pool.

“The team has connected really well so far this season. We’re seeing each other every day, sometimes twice a day, making lots of progress and delivering some good performances in the pool. We’ll look to continue that this weekend.”

With a number of players away on national team commitments, the Thunder have been counting on the depth of their squad to deliver results.

“An Olympic year can be a challenge because the Stingers girls are out a lot, so it’s a really great opportunity for those younger girls to have game time and integrate themselves into the team,” said Armit.

“It’s been a great chance to learn how everyone works inside and outside of the pool and to really come together as a team and learn from each other. We’re definitely taking advantage of the opportunity.

“It’s been great to learn from Dusan (Damjanovic) too, he’s so intelligent and knows the game so well, so adding in that extra element of preparation each week has been super beneficial,” she said.

Having played in the AWL since 2008, Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers squad member Armit recently recorded 200 games in the competition.

“I didn’t necessarily make a big deal of reaching 200 games in my head until everyone else started getting excited about it,” she admitted.

“Once I did the numbers and had a chance to look back over my time in the competition, playing for different clubs and even having a couple of years off to play overseas, I realised that 200 games in the AWL is an achievement I should be and am quite quite proud of. 

“Over the years I’ve got to play with some absolutely amazing players from the 2000 Olympics up until now, so it’s been a huge honour.

Having moved back to Queensland for the 2023 AWL season, Armit has taken on the role of captain at the Griffith Uni Queensland Thunder.

“I’ve been with the Thunder for two seasons now and it definitely feels like I’ve come home. I was born and raised in Townsville, so being back in Queensland and that much closer to my family and friends has been a great change for me, it makes me feel that much more relaxed.

“As someone who normally leads from the back, taking on the role of captain has been a huge challenge but one that I’ve welcomed with open arms. 

“I love a challenge and I love to try new things, so I’m just trying to do better every day. I’m just making sure that everyone feels good, comfortable and safe in our environment, and really trying to get the best out of every individual player,” she finished.

To view a list of fixtures for this weekend and catch up on the results so far this season, click HERE.

Two games will be broadcast LIVE this Saturday February 14 from South Australian Aquatic & Leisure Centre in Adelaide: 

4pm (ACDT) - FYFE Adelaide Jets v ACU Cronulla Sharks (Women)
5:30pm (ACDT) - FYFE Adelaide Jets v ACU Cronulla Sharks (Men)

To watch the live stream, click HERE.