I started playing water polo by throwing the ball around with some of the Henley and Grange Water Polo players & coaches after swimming training when I was 14, (with the likes of Peter Bayne & Mark Niblock). I used to swim in the Sunday club carnivals at Henley & Grange, which would have been my first introduction to the club.
After a short while it seemed that I had a talent for the game of water polo and through the club began playing club games. This lead to making the SA schoolboys team & also training with the SA junior (colts) water polo team under the guidance of Brian Knevitt . Brian was also playing – coach of the Henley & Grange 1st grade team & he also invited me to play 1st grade for the club with Mark Niblock, Dave & Lynn Martin to mention a few.
I was fortunate to gain selection in the South Australian schoolboy & junior water polo teams from my involvement with Henley & Grange, and also gain selection for the Australian Junior Water Polo Team. Even on public holidays & when the pool was closed, the club had managed to arrange for me to have access to the pool, where I would carry the goals into the pool by myself & have shot after shot in the pool - having the entire pool to myself.
I have fond memories of my days at the Henley and Grange Pool with the club being a major influence on my success in water polo in later years.
Peter Bayne's Note:
Chris was an Australian Junior Swimming Champion and switched to playing water polo in 1976 after recovering from glandular fever. 1979 was the year Chris left Henley and moved to Sydney to further his water polo career, this same year saw Chris selected in his first Australian Men’s team to tour Italy. He was a member of the Moscow Olympic squad in 1980 and became a regular member of Australian teams soon after until his retirement in 1992. In all Chris represented Australia 370 times including three Olympic Games, Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988 and Barcelona in 1992 where he captained the team. He played at three World Championships – Guayaquil 1982, Madrid 1986 and Perth 1991. At the 1981 FINA World Cup his shot was recorded as the fastest in the world at 80kph.
Chris is currently working for the NSW Institute of Sport as their Men’s Water Polo Coach as well as the Australian Junior Men’s Coach