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Representing Queensland in women’s water polo, Jordan Stephenson, vet tech at St Vincents Vets in Virginia, QLD, loves the community spirit of the sport.
“Last year, I travelled to Sydney for the water polo state finals at Olympic Park. Back in 2000, the Australian women’s team won the gold for water polo so it was great to be able to play in the same venue. I was on the Queensland state team and we made it to the grand final. We were playing NSW so it had a real state-of-origin feel. Unfortunately, we lost by a couple of goals. I’ll probably get over it soon.
“I started playing water polo when I was about 11. My dad played for South Africa so it was in my blood. I fell in love with it instantly and have been playing ever since. Initially I played in a school competition and when I reached Grade 10, I was able to play for Met West, the regional team. I started playing for Queensland in 2018 and played every year until this year. Once you reach 20, you’re too old for the state team and have to move to the senior comp. We play every Monday.
“You have to be very fit to play water polo at a competition level. When I was playing for Queensland, I was training every day. This included three to four sessions of water polo with the squad for about three hours a day. On top of that were three swimming sessions of two-hour swim sets. Then we would attend gym sessions for core and strengthening exercises. Now, I train twice a week and go to the gym every day.
“Sometimes when I pick up a couple of extra shifts at work, I’ll miss a training session or two. I can feel my fitness has dropped next time I get in the water. There can be a bit of rough and tumble during a game. The first game I played for Queensland, I came out of the water with scratches all over me. When a game is close, there can be kicking, punching and more. Let’s just call it an oversupply of enthusiasm.
“One thing I love about water polo is the community around it. You’re able to stay fit and compete with your best mates. I also think it’s important that all veterinary professionals stay fit and healthy. You never know when you might have to lift a 30-kilogram dog onto a table.
“At the moment, I’m concentrating on my Monday night games and we’re doing really well. Last year, we won the competition and we’re on track to do it again this year.”