Bunya’s Nick Day is making a splash in water polo, after having recently been selected in the Australian Youth Development Squad in just his third year in the sport.
Bunya water polo player Nick Day is a step closer to emulating the feats of several of his North Brisbane Polo Bears clubmates by representing his country.
The 15-year-old was selected in the Australian Youth Development Squad following last month’s Under-16 national championships in Sydney.
Making Day’s achievement more impressive is the fact that he forced his way into the 30-player national squad from Queensland’s second-tier Under-16 team.
“I was in the B team, and I was the only B player to be selected in the Australian squad,” Day said.
“I didn’t even think about making the national squad and was just going (to Sydney) thinking ‘maybe next year – it’s not going to happen this year’.
“It was one of my goals to make the Australian team and it just happened, and it’s because I’ve been training hard.”
Day’s selection in the Youth Development Squad, which will groom the country’s best teenaged players for World Championships and Olympic Games competitions next decade, has been a short time coming.
The Ferny Grove State High School student has only been playing water polo for three years but took to the sport like a duck to water, being picked in his first state team after having played less than a dozen games.
“I’d always been a swimmer when I was young, but swimming got a bit boring and I just preferred the look of water polo,” he said.
“I didn’t expect it to make it this far as I just started for a bit of fun because my friends were doing it.”
Shortly before the national titles, Day was invited to train with the Queensland Academy of Sport, with his current training schedule seeing him take to the pool nine times a week.
Now he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Bronwen Knox, Naomi Castle, Pietro Figlioli and Billy Miller - fellow QAS and Polo Bears players who have represented their country.
“I train with a lot of those guys at the QAS and they’re always helping out and giving me support,” Day said.
Day said he would also like to make a splash on the lucrative European water polo scene like Figlioli, who is currently playing professionally in Italy.
“Water polo is really big in Europe so maybe in a few years, after I finish school, I’ll try over there,” Day said.