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29 November 2021

Major victory for water polo history

Blackfriars’ proud water polo history has been immortalised, with the unveiling of a new…

Blackfriars’ proud water polo history has been immortalised, with the unveiling of a new honour board.

The honour board, in the Senior Library, displays the names of all captains of Blackfriars’ Senior A water polo teams, from 1976 to today.

During a function on Saturday night, the board was officially unveiled by Blackfriars’ earliest water polo captains, Mark Wundenberg (1976/’77) and Stephen von der Borch (1978).

Almost 30 former captains attended the ceremony. Triple Olympian Rafael Sterk was among the VIP guests to present certificates acknowledging their leadership.

Blackfriars’ water polo coach of 42 years Jon Harmer said the honour board was a fitting tribute to the captains and an acknowledgment of the importance of the sport in the school’s history.

He said the idea for an honour board was sparked more than two years ago, when a student approached him.

“He asked why we didn’t have a water polo honour board,” said Mr Harmer, also the school’s Development Officer – Old Scholars and Community.

“With the immediate blessing of the school executive, I started the exhaustive task of confirming the captains by year and tracking them down all over Australia to attend the official unveiling.

“Several, of course, could not make it on Saturday night, but their proud parents were there to take their place and acknowledge their sons’ achievements.

“Blackfriars has had such a proud history of success in water polo, and it’s great to be able to pay tribute to our captains in this way.”

The board also acknowledges the years Blackfriars was crowned the “Champion School”; between 1989 and 2018, our school won the title 23 times, including seven consecutive years from 2001.

“Literally hundreds of Blackfriars’ students and old scholars have gone on to represent South Australia, with a notable few going on to represent Australia at the senior, junior and youth level,” Mr Harmer said.