Joe Kayes Appointment - Men's Head Coach

25 Jun

Today NZWP is thrilled to announce the appointment of Joe Kayes to the role of Head Men’s Coach. This follows an intense investment of time into how we structure the men’s program into the future. 

Joe should need no introduction, however for those of you who don’t know him, he has performed at the highest level of our sport. This includes a professional career in Europe spanning over a decade, playing for Szeged and OSC Budapest in Hungary, as well as Pro Recco in Italy. He has also represented Fremantle and Cronulla in the Australian NL, and the Australian men’s team at the highest level competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016.  He has extensive international experience with 106 international caps for Australia. Highlights include World Cup Silver in 2018, World League Bronze in 2019 and multiple Intercontinental titles.

Over the last three years, NZWP has been developing and evolving athlete pathway programmes for U16 to senior age groups. This year NZWP has U16 teams competing at the World Aquatics World Championships for the first time with U16 Men currently competing in Malta and U16 Women competing in Turkey in July. Both of these new age group additions to our programmes are incredibly exciting.

Since returning home to NZ, Joe has led the Tauranga men’s program to multiple National League titles (2020, 2022 & 2023), as well as back to back Under 21 men’s titles (2022 & 2023).

Joe will join Angie Winstanley- Smith (NZWP Women’s head coach) who has led the NZ Women’s program since 2017 and most recently finished an incredible 9th place at the 2024 World Aquatics World Champs, narrowly missing Olympic qualification by 2 goals.

“I’m really excited to work with some of the talent I’ve seen over the last couple of years, guide our athletes, create pathways and opportunities and ultimately aim towards representing our country at an Olympic Games”. 

Joe brings yet another incredible lift to our capability in water polo in NZ. 

In addition to welcoming Joe, we will be launching our men’s athlete development hub based out of Tauranga which will continue our partnership growth in the regions and leverage our national body to promote visibility for our sport at the grassroots.

We are extremely grateful for the support of our amazing water polo community and are confident this appointment will continue to build on the strong foundations we have developed over many years as we head towards our Olympic campaign cycles 2028 and 2032.

2024 NZWP Registrations!