Dream comes true for Amelie

Published 6:00am 5 June 2024

Dream comes true for Amelie
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Amelie Hoefel who has been selected for the Australian team at the world water polo championships.

Redcliffe’s Amelie Hoefel admits she “cried tears of joy and shock” when opening a letter from Water Polo Australia.

Inside the email was news Amelia had been hoping for - she was in the Australian squad for the World Aquatics Women's 16 and Under World Championships.

It was the culmination of hard work and a series of camps at the AIS in Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney as 40 hopefuls were whittled down to the final 15.

Amelie, 16, is now preparing to fly out this month for training in Greece and then Turkey, which is hosting the world titles.

Australia is one of two Oceania representatives – the second being New Zealand – for the championships in Manisa from June 28 to July 4.

Dream comes true for Amelie
Amelie Hoefel's next sporting trip will be from Redcliffe to the world championships in Turkey.

World champions Hungary is among the 24 nations drawn into eight pools of three teams. Australia is in Group F with Turkey and Mexico.

“Obviously I hope Australia can win,” Amelie said, “but whatever happens it will be a great experience – a once-in-a-lifetime trip.”

“I think the countries we face will be tough and physical, but it’s a learning experience.”

Amelie is fundraising to help meet the costs of her trip. For more information and to donate click here

It will be a second European tour in just over 12 months for the Redcliffe State High School student.

Dream comes true for Amelie
Amelie Hoefel in action last year. Picture Anastacia Kachalkova of Pro Sport

From the National Age Group Program, she was selected for last year's Australian's 16 and Under squad which took on Hungary and Netherlands.

Water polo is undoubtedly in the Hoefel genes. Amelie used to watch her father, uncle and grandfather playing in Germany.

When the family moved to Australia, Amelie wanted to have a go and joined a come-and-try session. She was 11 and loved it.

Her first two years were with North Brisbane Polo Bears, at Albany Creek Leisure Centre, before the utility joined Mermaids on Brisbane’s southside.

Amelie now has water polo training for two hours every day after school with her club, the Australian squad or regional school team.

That takes her to Yeronga (Mermaids training), Sommerville House, Brisbane (Australia/Queensland squad) and Noosa Aquatic Centre (regional school team).

Amelie also does gym work in Redcliffe, swims two or three times a week and is in the gold squad at Southern Cross Swimming Club, Scarborough.

That travel clocks up around 700kms a week for the teenager and her family.

Australia’s squad for the world titles has nine players from Queensland, 4 from New South Wales and one from each of West Australia and Victoria.

World Championship Pools: Group A – Thailand, Netherlands, Israel; Group B – Zimbabwe, Greece, Canada; Group C - Germany, France, Croatia; Group D - Kazakhstan, Hungary, South Africa; Group E – USA, Serbia, New Zealand; Group F – Mexico, Turkey, Australia; Group G – Ukraine, Malta, Spain; Group H – China, Italy, Czech Republic.

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