David Martin

It all began for me around 1970 or 1971. As young Henley swimming club swimmers, my dad would take my older brother Lynn and I to Sunday morning club swimming races, and at the end of club races “the big boys” would get in at the deep end and start throwing around a water polo ball, and would have some shots.

Lynn and I would watch with interest and eventually, Peter Bayne (one of the “big boys”!) invited us to join in...that was the start of an association with water polo that has lasted for over 40 years! About 25 years of them with Henley.

I have some wonderful memories of my early water polo days at the Henley Pool with Henley and Grange. Some of those memories, in no particular order include:

The iconic Henley Pool itself

  • Waves splashing up thru’ the wooden boards at high tide

  • Beautiful hot sunshine – the best place in the world in summer

  • Freezing cold, windy in spring and autumn

  • Salt water and stinging eyes

  • Dull lights in the evenings

  • Watching the National titles there in 1973?

  • An all night fundraising swim-a-thon...cold, wet, uncomfortable, trying to sleep in the dungeon...never again!!


Water Polo games at Henley

  • Teams like Gawler, Henley Surf, Ethelton, Payneham Chrysler, Burnside

  • Playing against legends like Des Clarke (SA’s 1st Olympic water polo player), Charles and Michael Turner,

  • Playing with legends and champions like Peter Bayne, Rob and Frank Lindsay, Gary Goodwin, Brian Knevitt, Lynn (my brother), Chris Wybrow, just to name a few Playing with special mates, like Gerry Ryan, Dave Forrest ,Craig Parham, Uldis Meiers and many others,

  • A fantastic social atmosphere where swimming and water polo had a terrific and mutually beneficial relationship .

  • The fateful decision taken by the club to no longer field an A Grade team...Lynn and I leave to play A Grade at another club for 10+ years before we and our respective families (eventually a total of 12 players) returned to Henley Sharks Water Polo Club. 

Peter Bayne's Note:

David was the first player from the Club to make an Australian team when he was selected in the Australian Junior Men’s team to tour Europe in 1975. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled just a week or so from departure when the Team Manager became ill and a replacement at short notice could not be found.

David continued to play State water polo for many years after this but due to his legal studies the sport had to come second and higher honours eluded him. David has put his many years of knowledge and skills to good use and has coached at both Club and State level. He has been able to pass on to his 4 children a passion for the sport and all four (Chris, Tim, Anthony and Jessica) have been selected in Australian teams/squads. David was recognised with Life Membership of South Australian Water Polo Inc in 2005.


At present David is a Board Member of Australian Water Polo Inc and he and his wife Loretta are continuing to develop junior water polo players for the Henley Sharks by organising clinics and undertaking many administration roles.