While the eyes of the world were turned toward the Rio Olympics this summer, many outstanding Canadian water polo athletes and staff members have been discretely preparing for the next steps of their personal and professional journeys.
A few of the most experienced and well-respected men’s athletes have to date confirmed their official retirement. Others may follow suit over the course of the next months. Fellow Saskies, long-time captain Kevin Graham and veteran goaltender Robin Randall are both hanging their caps this year. Graham has already completed a Finance degree at the University of Calgary while Randall holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government. For the next while, Robin Randall will actually stay in close proximity to the national team, by moving towards the management side and joining the staff as a manager and assistant coach in Calgary.
Significant changes are indeed happening within the staff of the men’s national team. Neil Muir, who has been one of the most enduring and influential figures within the Canadian senior men’s team is retiring from his latest incarnation as Team Manager and program leader. Neil Muir’s path with Canadian water polo spans five decades, from his work with the Calgary Torpedoes and Alberta Water Polo in the 70s and 80s to extensive involvement with the national team programs starting shortly after and continuing alongside the current crop of national team athletes and staff members.
Andrew Muir, who was a former club athlete before climbing the ranks of the national team’s younger age groups as an Assistant and eventually Head Coach, is relocating to Toronto to pursue higher education. Andrew will stay involved in water-polo through a new role with the local Mavericks club and by continuing to contribute to the national age group programs.
Brian Parillo has been reconfirmed in his leadership role for the various national team training center programs and will be supported by Robin Randall and other resources as Water Polo Canada puts in place the next steps for its men’s programs. The new team management structure will include the notable addition of Head Coach Giuseppe Porzio announced on October 4 by Water Polo Canada.
“Words are truly not enough to express our gratitude and admiration towards the accomplishments of the individuals that are today moving on from our senior national team programs,” said Water Polo Canada President Conrad Hadubiak. “In addition to being outstanding athletes and professionals, each and every one of them has shown incredible personal qualities that qualify them as role models and leaders in their own right. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for inspiring us all and now look forward to seeing how they continue to make a difference within their chosen fields and journeys,” he said.