Arno Havenga (46) will stop as head coach of the Dutch water polo women on October 1st. He has come to the conclusion that it is time for other challenges for the national team and for himself. Havenga was involved with the Dutch women’s water polo for no less than fifteen years, the last eight as head coach.
Havenga, a two-time Olympian as a player, became team manager of the Dutch team in 2006 and, with his knowledge and experience, played an important role in winning the gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. He then became the assistant of Mauro Maugeri to become head coach in 2013. He won silver at the 2015 World Cup, silver at the 2014 and 2016 European Championships and gold at the European Championship in 2018. He also qualified with the Dutch team for the Olympics in Tokyo (6th place).
“After the Olympic Games it was clear to me that I no longer wanted to continue as national coach. It is better for the team to have a new coach on the way to Paris. I look back with satisfaction and great pleasure on the fifteen years that I was involved in the women’s water polo program in various roles. In that period we experienced highs and lows, but the nice memories and warm ties with players and staff predominate. I am grateful for the trust and the great collaboration that I have been able to experience with the players, staff, KNZB and NOCNSF all these years. In the coming period I will orientate myself on my future and see whether it lies within or outside the sport. Of course I wish the team and the new coach every success in pursuing new goals and will continue to follow the team closely.”
General director Aschwin Lankwarden of the KNZB: “We are very grateful to Arno. Being the head coach of a full-time team for eight years is by no means an easy task. Over the years, Arno has established an extremely professional organisation and program that are among the best in the world. There is an excellent basis on which his successor can build further. We hope of course to be able to appoint a new head coach for the route to Paris in the foreseeable future.”