In 2013, during the club’s 50th year celebrations, the Barracudas Club Hall of Fame was launched including four initial inductees. Last night the club announced two very deserving new entries into the history books as part of the Hall of Fame – Mel Rippon and Kate Gynther.
It is a fact that Mel and Kate are the most decorated and successful water polo players to have ever represented the Barracudas. Their athletic achievements are legendary: Both triple Olympians. Both double Olympic bronze medallists. Both captained Australia to the podium at the Olympics – Mel in 2008 and Kate in 2012. Both World Cup Champions, FINA World Champ silver medallists, and have countless World League medals to their names. Both have been named the FINA World All Star team identifying them as among the greatest players on the planet.
Domestically they have dominated as few before them. They have been instrumental and dare say the core of the success of the Barracudas Women’s National League team over the last 13 seasons. They have each played pivotal roles in the Barras record 5 national titles from 7 consecutive grand finals, three minor premierships, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. Many may not fully appreciate the enormous contribution of these two ladies in that success story. Both Mel and Kate have been involved in the Barras NWPL program since the start of the women’s league. From that very first season they have set the standard for professionalism, work ethic and commitment. Over all those years they worked tirelessly with their teammates and in particular the rising juniors, mentoring them, pushing them harder, sharing their knowledge and expertise. Their drive for excellence is what has set the tempo and expectation for our women’s national league program. Their leadership, generosity, patience and willingness to guide others in and out of the water has helped shape the careers of so many great players whom we are sure are indebted to them. They are quite simply stars and living legends of our game.
Congrats to Mel and Kate for all their achievements and their Hall of Fame status.