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Bronte Halligan

Age

27

Place of Birth

Crows Nest, NSW

Hometown

Manly

Junior Club

Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers

Senior Club

Ekipe Orizzonte, Italy

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

Stella Maris College Manly

Career Events

Water Polo Women's Tournament

 

Bronte's Story

What is it about rugby league Test footballers whose children excel in water polo? Bronte Halligan is the daughter of Kiwis and Canterbury-Bankstown goal-kicking legend Daryl Halligan; former Australian junior team member Jamie-Lee Lewis is the daughter of Kangaroos and Maroons legend Wally Lewis; while Sharks player Aidan Roach is the son of Kangaroos and Balmain icon Steve Roach.

“Maybe it's just the physicality and aggression in the sports that transfer, who knows,'' Bronte said when posed the question.

''I knew I wanted to be an athlete of some sort and represent my country when I watched dad play. It just motivates me even more.

''I can't kick a ball that well … But he definitely helps me on the mental side of things just to cope and make sure I'm always on top of things.”

Bronte finished high school at Stella Maris College and then left Sydney to further her water polo and studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she enjoyed stellar seasons for the Bruins in 2017 (25 goals), 2018 (31 goals) and 2019 (34 goals). Taking 2020 and 2021 to pursue her goal of representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics.

Bronte made her Stingers debut in 2014 as a 17-year-old, picking up two medals (FINA World League Intercontinental Cup gold; FINA World League Finals bronze) in her opening year.

She added to her Australian resume, making her Olympic debut at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games. She started her tournament in style, scoring all three of Australia's goals in their opening match against Canada and helped the Stingers to a second-place finish in their group.

Bronte added her fourth and fifth goals of the tournament in the quarter-finals against ROC but it was not enough for the Aussies, losing a tense match 8-9. Australia recorded consecutive victories against Canada and the Netherlands to earn fifth overall at the event.

After Tokyo the right-handed utility moved to Italy to play professionally for Ekipe Orrizonte, in the Italian league. The side won its 22nd title in 2022.

Bronte was part of the Stingers leadership group in Fukuoka, Japan for the 2023 World Aquatic Championships, where Australia finished fourth. After a tight 12-10 loss to Spain in the semi-finals, the Stingers lost the third-place play-off to Italy 16-14.

At the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Australia finished sixth, beating Britain 20-8 in the round of 16 before going down by a point to the USA in the quarter-finals.

The fact that she plays in a team sport like her dad is something Bronte is proud of.

"Medals and team success - that's what I want,” she said. “I want my team to be successful. I want us to compete day in and day out as the Stingers. If that means we're winning medals, then great. If that means we're in a phase where we're just grinding and working hard, then fantastic.

"I'm not in an individual sport; I'm in a team sport. That's my most important thing - that I see my entire team around me, myself included, flourish together."

Out of the pool, Bronte is a strategy lead at Cerebral Palsy Australia. She studied psychology and disability studies at UCLA.

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