Balmain Water Polo Club 12s Carnival - History

After the WPA 2011 12 years Carnival was cancelled early December 2010, Balmain Water Polo Club contacted teams who had expressed an interest in attending the event and invited them to a 2 day alternative at Dawny. We had 9 teams in our first year, including 3 teams from Tamworth.

The carnival has become one of the most popular 12s Water Polo Festivals in Australia.

In 2012, Dawny closed due to rain and the carnival was moved to MLC –  with 18 teams and an increased number of junior referees. This year the BBQ and catering was a feature.

2013 and 27 team entries, the carnival moved to 3 days. This time on Day 2 we experienced mid 40s temperatures but managed to ensure all participants and spectators were kept hydrated and safe.

2014 saw a record number of teams entered – 32 – with teams from Tamworth, the Shire, Central Coast, School teams, and players from Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and Blacktown. We also had a following on Facebook from The Bahamas Water Polo Association with them posting an array of photos from our event.

2015 - again a record number of teams with 38 in total. We introduced Mummies & Daddies games during a break on the Tuesday. We saw 26 dads over 35 and 26 mums over 35 take to the water as a display. More than 5 former Olympians in this bunch.

2016, again saw Dawny shut due to flooding rains so 38 teams, 42 Junior referees moved to Ashfield Pool for the 3 days. Once again, another successful tournament.

2017 – a record 43 teams participated in the 12s Carnival and included a Brisbane Mermaids. 5 Divisions, 44 junior referees ! Once again WPNSW assisted with the referee mentor program.

2018 & 19– 40 teams including 3 from Brisbane. 5 divisions. 43 junior referees. Attracted sponsorship and each participant was given a back pack full of goodies.

2020 – Dawny closed for renovations saw the event moved to Ryde Leisure and Aquatic Centre. Carnival ran over the period of time of the major NSW bushfires and those 3 days we experienced record breaking temperatures. With 32 teams playing and 30 junior referees, great sportsmanship shone through.

2021 – Dawny is still closed and COVID creates havoc with planning. The Carnival was postponed until the end of January, and then restrictions and having to run Carnival in sessions resulted in reduced number of teams, 28 referees, no spectators and spread across 2 pools – newly opened Ashfield Aquatic Centre and Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre.


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