Vale David Woods

The Water Polo Australia community is today mourning the loss of dual Olympic water polo player David Woods who passed away overnight.

A member of the Australian Olympic Men’s Water Polo Teams at the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, Woods also represented Australia at two World Championships at Belgrade (1973) and Cali (1975) where he captained the side.

A long time member of Balmain Club in Sydney, David was selected for ten straight years for Australia between 1967 and 1976 during which time he played 219 matches for his country.

At a State level, ‘Woodsy’ played 130 games for New South Wales and under his captaincy the Blues won five Australian Championships in a nine year period from 1966 to 1975.

At the 1967 Championships he scored a record 43 goals and was voted into the New South Wales Sporting Hall of Fame.  An all round sportsman, David also represented New South Wales at swimming and Sydney at rugby union.  He was the Captain/Coach of New South Wales from 1969 to 1972 and Coach from 1978 to 1980, winning five from seven national championships as coach.

Outside of his stellar playing career, he was the Head Coach of the Australian Men’s and Women’s Team.  He led the Women’s Team to a silver medal at the FINA Women’s World Cup at Long Beach (1991).

His service to the sport extended beyond the pool where he served on the NSW Water Polo Inc Board as Chairman and President and was recognised for his significant contribution to water polo awarded life membership of NSWWPI and Water Polo Australia.

Water Polo was true family passion for Woods, with his son Gavin a four-time Olympic water polo player and daughter Taryn playing part of gold medal winning Australian Women’s Water Polo Team at the Sydney Olympic Games.

David’s loss has been felt right across the entire Water Polo community and our thoughts are with his family, friends and Club mates at this time.