Ottawa, February 11, 2024 - Water Polo Canada announced today the coaching staff for the upcoming season of its Men’s and Women’s 16U National Water Polo Teams, including for the 2024 World Aquatics U16 Water Polo Championships.
Men’s 16U National Team
On the men’s side, Andras Szeri from the Ottawa Titans Water Polo Club, who led the 18U Men’s National Team to one of their highest placements ever at the Youth Men’s World Championships with a 10th position at the 2022 edition in Belgrade, Serbia, has been named Head Coach. He will be assisted by Water Polo Canada’s Men’s Senior National Team program Assistant Coach Gyula Toth.
“Andras is a long-time contributor to Water Polo Canada’s Age Group National Team programs who had some international success in the past, while Gyula Toth will bring his expertise as well as his contagious passion for the sport and an unwavering commitment to the athletes’ success”, said Water Polo Canada’s Senior Manager of Leagues and Pathways, Andrew Muir.
Women’s 16U National Team
On the women’s side, Raine Paul of the Edmonton Tsunami Water Polo Club, who was an assistant coach of the 17U team that competed at the 2023 Pan American Youth Championships in Bauru, Brazil, last spring, will take the lead of Water Polo Canada’s Women’s 16U National Team this year.
She will be assisted by Christi Bardecki from the Toronto Golden Jets Water Polo Club, who was also an assistant for the 17U National Team who competed at the 2023 Pan American Youth Championships, as well as with the 17U National Teams who won gold at the 2011 Pan American Youth Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and took the 5th spot at the 2012 Youth Water Polo World Aquatics Championships in Perth, Australia.
“Raine will bring a deep passion for the sport and an approach focused on the holistic development of players, while Christi will add her technical expertise and a knack for motivating our young athletes”, added Muir.
“With this coaching team in place, we look forward to seeing our 16U men's and women's water polo national teams thrive and succeed in the upcoming season”, said Water Polo Canada’s High Performance Director, Olivier Pineau. “We have full confidence in our coaches' ability to inspire, guide, and support our young athletes on their water polo journey.”
The 2024 World Aquatics Men’s U16 Water Polo Championships will be held June 18-24 in Malta, while the women’s edition will be held June 28-July 4 in Manisa, Turkey.