Our History

Welcome to UNSW Wests Water Polo Club

In 1965 the Western Suburbs Amateur Water Polo Club was formed by the amalgamation of Ashfield and Enfield Amateur Water Polo Clubs, with the main purpose of entering the First Division. This was accomplished after three successful seasons in Second Division.

The origins of the Ashfield component go back to 1956 when Paul Misfud, a former national goalkeeper of Malta, the island state in the Mediterranean Sea where Water Polo was uniquely the national sport and Tenno Koolberg met in the Accounts Department of the Rolls Royce subsidiary in Sydney. They formed the Rolls Royce AWPC, subsidised by the company’s social club. The first playing season was 1956/57. No records of this first season have been found.

On Oct 12, 1957 a meeting was held at the Domain Baths to form the Wanderers AWPC with Paul Misfud elected as the club’s coach, running training sessions on Saturdays from 8 am. at the Domain Baths. In season 57/58 and 58/59 one 3rd grade team competed in the Metropolitan competition. Col Rankin, a stalwart for the future, joined the club in 1958.

To comply with the then FINA rules all Water Polo players had to be affiliated with a swimming club. At first most players were affiliated with the Dee Why ASC and the following year with Bronte ASC.

For the 59/60 season the members decided to affiliate with the Sydney ASC at the Domain, renaming the club the Domain Wanderers AWPC. From this time at least two teams were entered in the Sydney competition.

In 1961 for the 61/62 season it was deemed good PR to change the name to Sydney AWPC.

In 1962 the Ashfield Municipal pool was built and there was foresight to move to this new venue as the home pool, renaming the club Ashfield AWPC affiliated to the Ashfield ASC. (the first 30m water polo pool in Sydney).

Wests has had teams in junior summer competitions of 1966-67, 1974 to 1980 and 1987 to present. Ladies teams have been restricted to 1966-67, 1979-1990 and 1992 to 1997.

In 1971-72 the club joined by the Canterbury club. In 2003-04, after three seasons effectively as our M4 team, the remaining men from the Sydney Dolphins became Wests members. The club, as Wests Sydney (original club names were then not permitted), is a foundation member of the National Water Polo League.

There have been various club symbols. Initially entwined WS; then a Penguin before settling on variations of the Magpie, although the National League team for a period was know as the Sea Hawks.

Graham ‘Doc’ Wulf maintains a comprehensive playing history of the club, including some information from the pre-Wests era.

The Club is now affiliated with New South Wales Water Polo (NSWWPI) and the Australian National Water Polo League (ANWPL).

In 2006 the club was incorporated and the name changed to Wests Water Polo inc.

2009 saw the establishment of a joint venture with the University of NSW (UNSW) Water Polo Club. The UNSW Club runs a successful women’s based program and the joint venture offers an amalgamation of both men’s and women’s teams to the benefit of both clubs. The joint venture moved to a complete merger in 2013, which formed the UNSW Wests Water Polo Club as we know it today.

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