Tenealle Danielle Fasala is a water polo player who was awarded a Tier 2 Scholarship within the 2023 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Tenealle Fasala comes from a family full of elite athletes. With Olympic swimmer Greg Fasala, as her father and world-class swimmer Rickie Fasala, as her mother, Tenealle’s early life experiences were filled with water-based activity. While both her siblings chose to follow in their parent’s footsteps and become competitive swimmers, Tenealle never felt fulfilled just “following the black line on the bottom of the pool”. When introduced to water polo as a primary school student at Graceville State School, she quickly realised being part of a team was the way she would realise her sporting dreams.
At age 11, Tenealle’s mum signed her up at the Brisbane Barracudas Water Polo club, where her talent blossomed. Such was the speed of her development; she was soon competing against girls who were two years older than her age-group. Undaunted by the challenge, Tenealle continued to excel and at age 13, she was selected in the Queensland Team. Since then, she has continued her rise within the ranks, representing Queensland six times and captaining her age group in 2016 and 2018.
A skilled and powerful centre forward, Tenealle’s talent saw her identified as an emerging athlete by the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) at the age of 16 and shortly thereafter she was selected into the QAS Women’s Water Polo Program. Following a series of impressive performances in her first National League season with the Brisbane Barracudas, she was selected in the Queensland Thunder squad helping her teammates win back-to-back championships in 2019-2022.
With her talents now well established, Tenealle was rewarded by receiving a call-up to the Aussie Stingers Olympic Squad for the Tokyo 2020 Games. After three months of training within the residential camp, she received the devastating news that she had been cut from the team. Knowing how close she had come to realising her dream, Tenealle was heartbroken, but she used the disappointment as fuel to train even harder, determined to elevate her game to new levels.
Heading into the 2022 National League season, Tenealle had a point to prove, tearing apart her opposition with a series of dominant offensive displays. Her irrepressible form caught the attention of new Stingers Head Coach, Paul Oberman and she was recognised with an invitation to join the Stingers Training Squad once again. With memories of missing out on Tokyo still fresh in her mind, Tenealle took full advantage of the opportunity and her commitment to hard work paid off with selection to compete in the FINA World League Intercontinental Cup. Proudly joining her teammates in the pool as representatives of their country, the Stingers had an outstanding tournament, capping it off with victory in the final to take home the gold medal.
Returning to Australia, Tenealle finished off the 2022 National League season with a win before receiving the news that she had been selected for the FINA World Championships in Budapest. Despite placing sixth overall, which was below the team’s expectations leading into the event, Tenealle realised a lifelong dream by taking part in the tournament. With her career only just getting started, there is plenty of promise for bigger and better results ahead as she targets the 2023 FINA World Championships and the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Outside of her sporting career, Tenealle studies a Bachelor of Nursing with ambitions of becoming a Nurse Anaesthetist or theatre scrub nurse.
“It is an honour to be one of the few applicants to be chosen as a Tier 2 SAHOF Scholarship holder. Water Polo has never been advertised enough in Australia, with most people ask me what this sport is. This Scholarship is a great responsibility, and I believe it stretches beyond myself and into the broader Water Polo community. Through this publicity, I believe it will shine the light on Water Polo and create greater support and acknowledgment for all Water Polo athletes.” – Tenealle Fasala on being selected as a 2023 Tier 2 Scholarship Holder.
Honours & Achievements
- 2019: Australian Water Polo League Finals
- 2022: Junior World Championships – 9th
- 2022: Australian Water Polo League Finals – 1st
- 2022: FINA World Championships – 6th
- 2022: FINA World Intercontinental Cup – 1st
- 2023: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder