A fringe water sport hopes a generous benefactor will deliver a facility for the next generation of players to help benefit Tasmania attending its national titles for the first time in nearly two decades.
Canoe polo enthusiasts in and around Launceston are seeking a permanent home from a willing dam owner.
They say a large private dam will ensure a recent influx of canoeists can increase training to a level to compete against more seasoned interstate competitors ahead of April competition in Penrith.
Tamar Canoe Club spokesperson Jenn Purtell said the club had already been paying $165 an hour to hire pool space at the Launceston Aquatic Centre in the winter.
But entering the peak summer period that arrangement is largely unworkable, owing to factors such as costs, availability and practicality.
“We just basically need to be able to set our goals up so we can train regularly without the risk of the goals being damaged,” Purtell said.
The process of towing out the goals that are suspended in the air, metres above water, and mooring them down with heavy weights before dismantling them afterwards proves time consuming.
But officials at Tasmania’s peak canoe polo club are forced to do that every training session at Trevallyn Dam.
“We just can’t realistically leave them in a public place like Trevallyn Dam – they’re a floating goal and they would be at risk to other [dam] users out there,” Purtell said.
“It’s quite a logistical exercise every time taking them there, setting them up, taking them home again.”
Purtell said the time was right for a summer home base as Tasmania had been unrepresented since 1999.
As the canoe club steps up training ahead the 2019 Australian and Oceania canoe polo championships at Penrith, she said such moves will benefit the goalkeeper and shooters especially.
“We honestly haven’t had too many players coming through like this for more than a decade,” Purtell said.
“So it’s now quite exciting because they’re all enthusiastic and they’re very keen.
“We’re looking at having a good junior team, some under-21s and masters, all heading over in April.
“It just will be really good if we can get them up to the level they need to be.
“Compared to other states, who have pool access all year around, without it puts us a long way behind.”