From Brewarrina to Tokyo Olympics


Former Bre boy Richie Campbell is competing in water polo alongside Nathan Power at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo courtesy of Newcastle Herald

A former member of the Brewarrina community is on his final sprint towards the end of an epic water polo career representing Australia at his fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Richie Campbell was born in Brewarrina in 1987 and learnt how to swim at the local pool.

He competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, has played professionally in Barcelona, Spain and currently plays for the UNSW Wests Magpies in the Australian National Water-polo League.

Campbell competed at the Junior World Cup on 2005 and 2007, and won a bronze medal in the World League super finals in 2007.

His talent was obvious from an early age and his family moved to Newcastle to give young Richie an opportunity to develop his skills.

Richie’s father Bryan said his son was born to be in the water.

“We would be in the deep end of the local council pool, and he would just have his face showing, looking up at me yelling ‘I’m alright dad, I’m alright!’” Bryan recalled.

The Campbell family moved to Newcastle, with Richie following his big brother Nick into water polo training at the local swimming club. From there, the boy from Brewarrina never looked back.

Academy water polo spokesperson, Simon Daley, said Richie’s natural talent was first spotted while he was playing at state level.

Greg McFadden, head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport, spotted Richie at the Under 16 National titles and singled him out for selection in the program.


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