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Keesja Gofers

Age

34

Place of Birth

ST LEONARDS, NSW

Hometown

Beecroft

Junior Club

Sydney University

Senior Club

Sydney University

Coach

Rebecca Rippon, Dusan Krstic

Olympic History

Rio 2016

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

MLC School

Career Events

Water Polo Women's Tournament

 

Keesja's Story

The same year Keesja Gofers claimed her maiden national water polo title, she competed at her first Olympics as a driver for the Australian women’s water polo team.

She secured her debut at Rio with a strong 2016 season, scoring three goals in the bronze medal match at the FINA World Super League Finals in China, helping Australia place third over the host nation. Keesja proved to be an integral part of the women’s side, scoring a total of five goals for the Australians.

The Aussies kick-started their Rio campaign with a dominant 14-4 win over Russia. Their second pool match proved to be more of a challenge with the green and gold side narrowly going down to Italy 7-8 despite the scores being tied until the final seconds.

The Aussies then powered home to take a decisive 10-3 win over hosts Brazil in the final pool game, setting up a quarter-final clash against Hungary. In a physical, tense, and ultimately heartbreaking encounter the Australians lost in a penalty shootout ending their 2016 Olympic campaign.

Keesja made her second Olympic appearance at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games. Australia enjoyed an impressive group-stage showing, finishing the group tied for first on points and advancing to the quarter-finals in second place.

This set up a quarter-final tie against the ROC, which the Stingers narrowly lost 9-8, denying the Aussies a chance at medal contention. Australia finished the tournament with back-to-back wins against Canada and the Netherlands, the latter in which Keesja scored three goals, earning the Stingers 5th place overall.

Keesja showed her quality throughout Tokyo 2020, ending the tournament in the top 10 for blocks, rebounds, and sprints.

After the Tokyo Olympics she took a break from the pool to welcome daughter Teleri, her first child with husband Scott, in 2023. She was back in training seven weeks after Teleri was born.

“It’s not super common for someone to try this [returning to water polo from motherhood], so it is great that everyone understands we’re not experts on this, so let’s work together,” she said at the time.

She was back in the Stingers in time for the 2024 World Championships in Doha, where 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.

Keesja insists she is determined to do more than just make up the numbers in Paris.

“My goal is to compete at Paris – well, not only to compete, but to win a medal,” she said.

Keesja took up Water Polo to copy her sisters when she was 13. She made her international debut in 2010 and helped Australia claim silver at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Athleticism runs in the Gofers family. Her sister, Taniele, competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics winning the water polo bronze medal and has represented Australia in European handball. Another of her sisters, Allira, plays European handball and beach handball for Australia.

Keesja graduated from Sydney University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture. 

The Sydney-born athlete played for the Sydney University Lions and co-captained the team, along with fellow Stinger, Lea Yanitsas, to the National Water Polo League title in March 2016.

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