Rippon promoted in historic Stingers water polo move

Rebecca Rippon will become the first female to coach Australia's women's water polo team after being charged to lead the Stingers' campaign at the Paris Olympics.

The two-time Olympian, who played 266 games for the Stingers, was appointed on Wednesday to replace Paul Oberman, who stepped down for personal reasons.

Rippon was Oberman's assistant, her historic promotion coming a day after Jo Yapp's confirmation as Wallaroos coach secured her as the first female head coach of a senior Australian football team.

“I feel extremely honoured to be in this position and I just can’t wait to continue working with the staff and players in the lead-up to the world championships and the Paris Olympics," Rippon said.

“I am proud but also humbled to be the first female head coach of the Olympic team. 

"I am aware that I am in this position now, but that there are many strong female coaches who are giving so much to our sport in many squads and programs around the country."

The Stingers finished fourth at this year's world championships, and were beaten 9-8 by Russia in the quarter-finals at the Tokyo Olympics.

The team won the gold medal in Sydney - the sport's Olympic debut - in 2000, and Rippon also won bronze in Beijing in 2008.

The Stingers also claimed bronze at the 2012 London Games.

“I have lived experience in what they are going through and what they are about to go through," she said of the road to Paris. 

"I understand what it feels like to be in their position as they go through everything over the next eight months.

“It is going to be hard physically and mentally as they fight for selection individually, yet being pushed to work together to produce our best water polo. 

“None of that is going to change when you are in a high-performance environment, but having the awareness of what they are going through means we can support them to be at their best in and out of the pool."

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