Three-time Olympian Rowie Webster coaching Richmond Tigers at the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships

Published Fri 22 Dec 2023

Former captain of the Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers and three-time Olympian, Rowie Webster will be on deck at the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships (AYWPC) this January as she returns to her Richmond Tigers roots.

Having coached the 14&U Girls Green team from her home-town of Melbourne since they were in the 12&U age group, Webster is excited to travel with the team and be part of their journey in the sport.

“The AYWPC is an incredible opportunity for the girls to share their love for the sport and get their first taste of competition,” began Webster. “These girls have never been to a competition outside of the state so I’m thrilled to be part of their first experience in that regard.

“The AYWPC gives a large number of athletes the opportunity not just to play what I believe to be the best sport in the world, but to also connect with like-minded people of their age and be amongst the competition atmosphere. 

“These youngsters have been training twice a week, all through winter, and now they get to see their hard work put into play. 

“To me, it’s not about where they place, it’s more about giving them the opportunity to play and have fun,” she said.

For Webster, coaching the team of enthusiastic young players is a constant reminder of her ‘why’ and how it has never changed.

“As a 12 year old that had first started in the sport, my ‘why’ was because I fell in love with water polo, it made me feel good,” she said.

“I played a lot of sports growing up and water polo was just a combination of everything I liked about the other sports all in one. For me, it was the way water polo made me feel, and that never changed, it inspired me throughout my career, on the good days and the bad days, and ultimately led to me representing my country.

“For me it was never completely about the medal. Obviously you’re always chasing a medal and that was the carrot, but for me it was just about being as successful as I could be in my processes and being a part of the team.

“As a five year old, you don’t dream of the specific moments, you just dream about being like your superheroes on the cereal box, so to have the opportunity to live out that dream was so cool and something I’ll be forever grateful for.

“Now to have come full circle and to see these girls smiling and giggling during and after training is so rewarding. 

“That’s what I had in the sport and it goes to show that our ‘why’ is not too different at all,” said Webster.

Webster playing for Australia

Having played more than 300 games for the Ord Minnett Aussie Stingers herself, Webster is only one of only a few women to represent Victoria at the Olympic level.

“Victoria is relatively small in the world of water polo. We’re few and far between at the top end, but the sport is absolutely thriving at the grassroots level in the state, and that’s what is most important,” she said.

“This age group is potentially who we’re looking at as the future stars of the game at our home Olympics in 2032, but whether they become Olympians or not realistically is not important. It’s more about how they feel in the sport and the community that matters. I’m just thrilled to see them having fun.”

Webster has two pieces of advice for those playing at the AYWPC.

“Firstly, definitely wear sunscreen because the sun and the water can be a tough combination and we’ve all learnt the hard way at the senior level,” she said.

“It’s also so important to get outside your comfort zone and meet new people. This competition is about making lifelong friends in other states and countries, win, lose or draw,” she finished.

The AYWPC will take place across various venues in Brisbane from early to mid January 2024. To learn more about the event, visit the website here.



The Ord Minnett Aussie Sharks and Aussie Stingers will also be in Brisbane for the AYWPC, playing in a three test match series. Find out more and purchase your tickets here.


You’ll have a ball in Brisbane while here for the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships (AYWPC) from 5-16 January. Plunge into the city and surrounds with this list of must-do experiences, from island hopping and adrenaline-fueled fun, to a foodie feast and endless summer sport.
The city will come alive when more than 210 teams from around the country compete in the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships for 12&U, 14&U, 16&U and 18&U divisions. We hope to see you, your team and family out and about exploring Brisbane’s must-do experiences. 

CLICK HERE to find out more.