Vale David Woods

Vale David Woods

23 Jan 1944 - 1 June 2017

It is with great sadness that we advise of the passing this morning of David Woods, Life Member and Patron of Balmain Water Polo Club.

David Woods, born in 1944, grew up and lived his life in Balmain. David was born into a sporting family with uncles representing Australia in rowing and football. David himself was a well-rounded sportsman attending Drummoyne Boys High, he was awarded NSW CHS Blues in 1961 Rugby, Swimming and Water Polo.

David went on to a teaching career with the Department of Education where he made his mark in School Sport. Not only was he greatly involved at the state level, but he also made great contributions at the national level, which were recognised with Life Membership of School Sport Australia in 1992.

A versatile sportsman, David represented the Drummoyne “Dirty Reds” Rugby Club as a 1st grade second rower in 1960’s. 

In the 1960s and 1970’s David played water polo for Balmain. He went on to play for NSW and represented Australia. He played for Australia in 176 matches including World Championships and Olympic games. Many of these games he was captain. David represented Australia in Water Polo at two Olympic Games; Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976. He was also a member of the 1968 team that travelled to Mexico, but were excluded from competing. 

In 1979, David Woods was honoured by being included in the NSW Hall of Champions at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre alongside other great NSW athletes who have been elevated to the realm of national heroes.

 In 1981 he coached the Australia Men’s Water Polo team, and from 1991 until 1994 he coached the Australian Women’s Water Polo team. He was made a Life Member of Water Polo Australia in 2009 after serving on the board in various capacities for both Water Polo Australia and Water Polo NSW.

David coached many Balmain teams, including the first-grade women in the 1990s. He took a young side, including Taryn Woods, Bronwyn Smith (nee Mayer) and Yvette Higgins from developing youngsters to key members of the gold medal winning 2000 women’s Olympic team.

The legacy David leaves Balmain Water Polo Club is far reaching and will continue for many years to come with his family’s continued involvement and those who have been touched by David’s contribution.

David was not only an outstanding sportsman, coach and Clubman but he was a great family man, and a great friend to us all.

Our hearts and deepest sympathy extend to David’s family – wife Judy, children Taryn, Gavin, Cara and their families; sister Patricia Mayer, nieces Bronwyn and Yvette, and nephew Warwick all who are active members of our Club.