Victoria’s LGBTIQ Water Polo Club Melbourne Surge made it to the Grand Final of the Water Polo Victoria Men’s State League this weekend. Even though they were narrowly beaten, the club couldn’t be prouder to see five of its six teams move to the finals for Victoria’s State League Championships, including its inaugural women’s team.
“Being able to provide a safe and inclusive space for our LGBTIQ communities to play water polo is at the heart of what we do,” Surge President Cal Hawk said. We’re so incredibly proud that Surge has become a competitive force here in Victoria and further afield.” .
Melbourne Surge Water Polo is one of the fastest growing water polo clubs in Victoria, and 2019 saw that growth blossom with five teams compete in the state championships across three divisions, including a joint team in the Women’s competition with Melbourne University Water Polo Club.
This is the first competitive team Surge has entered into a women’s competition and after a hard-fought season of fifteen rounds, they were proud to have them progress into semi-finals.
“Having Mark Burgess join the club as our head coach earlier this year has also been a huge turning point for us to also elevate the training we’ve been able to offer our competitive players.” Hawk told Star Observer.
With one of the men’s team playing in the Grand Final against Ringwood, the game went into overtime when tied 8-8, and in extra time Ringwood got a ‘golden goal’ through, narrowly beating Surge 8-9.
Meanwhile the combined women’s team between Surge and Melbourne Uni Water polo clubs went into their Water Polo Victoria Women’s State League 3 Grand Final against St Catherine’s and lost 10-6
“We’re incredibly proud of how we’ve grown as a club this year.” Hawk said, “We’ve become more inclusive and more competitive than ever before. This year we entered more teams in competition and saw our first women’s team get in the water. We even launched our own internal club league that allows for players, regardless of their gender identity, to dive in and play some excellent water polo.”
Club Manager Sebastian Desbois won for top goal scorer in Water Polo Victoria’s State League 5.
What a way to finish?! Some great polo from our Women’s team w/ @muwaterpolo in their grand final & @MelbourneSurge Leviathan put up a heck of a fight in SL6 only just missing out 8-9 in extra time. Congrats to our own Sebastien Desbois – top goal scorer for @VICWaterPolo SL5. pic.twitter.com/RLc9PzdGaw
— Melbourne Surge (@MelbourneSurge) December 7, 2019
“We’re not only a great LGBTIQ community organisation, we’re a highly competitive sporting club,” Desbois said. “We nurture the skills of our talented players whether they’ve played in the past or this is their first time participating in sport.”
Following the State Championships, Melbourne Surge now has their sights set on competing in the 2020 International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA 2020) when Melbourne hosts the international queer sporting competition in February next year.
“Of course, we’re looking forward to keeping that momentum going at the IGLA 2020 championships against some amazing LGBTIQ clubs from around the globe.” Hawk told Star Observer.
With the international competition only ten weeks away, it looks like Melbourne Surge has no intention of slowing down when they hit the water in February and compete against other teams from all around the world.