So for the past month and a half I have been in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia to play professionally for the Victorian Tigers. It is something that I have strived for since I was in high school and it is an experience that I would encourage any of you set your sights on. It has been a whirlwind since the second I landed after my 15 hour flight from LA. When I got here, I was greeted my two of my teammates and our team manager. I soon find out that we have practices 4 times a week at 5:30 am and additional practices in the evening, including gym workouts on your own. The amount of practice would never be a complaint, but, man oh man, waking up at 4:30 am for practice is definitely a VERY new experience for me.
After a month of practicing while watching the sunrise in Melbourne every morning, we started our season at our home pool at MSAC (Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Center), which was built for the 2006 Commonwealth games. The pool and the grandstand has such a fun atmosphere to play in, very similar to the feel of Stanford’s pool for those of you that have played there. Our first two matches were against the Brisbane Barracudas from the Gold Coast. They won the Premiership last season so we definitely expected some tough matches. We ended up losing the set of games but we surprised ourselves as a team giving them a good fight.
Just this last weekend, we flew to Perth to play the Freemantle Mariners and The UWA Torpedoes. Freemantle was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. While we were in the area, we went to Cottesloe Beach to do some swim rehab in the Indian Ocean. The beach was AMAZING despite the fact that it is one of the most shark infested waters in Australia, but we all came out of it with all our limbs attached. :)
So far, Australia has been amazing, as well as all the people I have met since I have been here. If any of you want to run through the Australian Water Polo Website to learn more about National League and the different teams, here is the address: www.australianwaterpolo.com.au.
I hope everyone is doing really great with all their games this winter! Also, I want to say congratulations to Kristin, Italia, and the 14 & Under Girls team for getting 1st Place at Winterfest this last weekend! Great job, Ladies! I haven’t heard about the guys in Florida, but I’m sure you guys are all going great! Travel home safely and I expect updates!