Kerr dives into study trip of a lifetime

It’s astonishing what Cronulla’s Danny Kerr will endure for a money-can't-buy Italian water polo adventure.

The Australian Catholic University has commenced a stint at the university’s Rome Campus where he will continue his course online and develop skills playing for SC Tuscolano in Italy’s Serie A2 competition.

Brushing up on his Italian is a must for Kerr who was the first Australian student to land at Campus di Roma since the COVID-19 international border closures.

Italy’s top flight water polo leagues are professional competitions and the Bachelor of Commerce undergraduate will also have the opportunity to train with some of the world’s top players at ACU Serie A1 affiliate club Lazio Nuoto.

If that means wearing a few blows, then the young left-hander will gladly absorb the hard lessons.

“For a lot of those guys, this is their living. They’re playing to keep a roof over their heads,” Kerr said.

“If I have to wear a few on the chin then I can’t get upset.”

Unforgettable experience

Kerr will reside in one of the self-contained apartments at the Rome Campus while he plays overseas and studies online across the summer semester and next year’s Semester 1.

Continuing his education in and out of the pool in Italy will be a rare and cherished opportunity for Kerr who is a member of ACU’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program.

Top tier water polo competitions in Australia have paused due to restrictions tackling COVID-19's spread.

Starved of training and playing routines, Kerr and many of his ACU Cronulla Sharks teammates took to ocean swimming to keep fit, while the international exposure during his second-year business studies will be priceless.

“I can’t wait to gain invaluable experience by diving into the Italian water polo league,” he said. “I’m especially grateful for the support from the university and club, it has been imperative for my development.”

Raising the bar

The Bachelor of Commerce student is no stranger to Rome following a training stint with ACU affiliate club Lazio in 2019.

Training up to 10 sessions per week and playing endlessly through a seven-month season will develop the skills, fitness and resilience needed to chase his Olympic dream.

“That’s a lot of games and a lot of experience. I’m pushing for Paris in 2024 so for me that’s invaluable,” the 21-year-old said.

“I’ll probably be flogged but it’s going to do me the world of good.”


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