Year 12 student, Harry Molnar, is an outstanding water polo player. Vice-Captain of the Australian team that placed eighth in the 2018 FINA Youth World Championships, Harry has an enviable record of success in the pool. He was awarded a prestigious Brian Hone Medal by the School this year in recognition of his achievements.
“I first started playing water polo around nine years ago when I was at Grimwade House,” says Harry. “The more I played, the more I loved it.”
In addition to playing for Melbourne Grammar School teams, Harry has been a member of the Melbourne Collegians Water Polo Club since he started in the sport. “There are national competitions for clubs and for States,” explains Harry. “From 2014, my club team won the national championship in my age group four years in a row.” In 2016, Harry was named Most Valuable Player in the national club championship competition.
“Winning the national title for the second time is certainly one of my career highlights to date,” says Harry. “We went into the first one as underdogs as no Victorian team had ever won it before. Some people thought it was a fluke. The second title proved them wrong and cemented our reputation.”
Harry has been a member of the Australian squad since 2015, first representing the nation in the U16 team. “It is the best feeling ever to be standing in our line-up before a game at World Championships, facing the flag and listening to the national anthem. Nothing else gives you goose bumps like that,” says Harry.
But, of course, Harry’s achievements have not occurred by chance. A combination of innate talent, good coaching and sheer hard work have contributed to his success.
“I normally train for around 11 – 12 sessions per week,” says Harry. “I swim with the swimming squad at Melbourne Grammar three mornings a week from 5.30am – 7am. I’m also in the gym for three sessions and have some water polo training with my club and State teams each week.”
Harry’s heavy workload intensified in the lead-up to the World Championships. “Balancing water polo and my Year 12 studies has been hard,” says Harry. “I tried to get ahead early in the year and stay ahead as much as possible. My teachers have been really helpful and have supported me throughout the year.”
Water polo relies heavily on tactics, so the quality of the coach – the tactician – is very important. “I was lucky to have one of the best junior coaches in the world during my early days in water polo,” says Harry. “My club team won every game for four years straight under his guidance.”
Harry is exploring options for continuing to play water polo post-school. He is also interested in studying business