WAGGA Wagga Water Polo believes entering under-14 and under-16 boys and girls teams in the Ovens and Murray Water Polo Association is the best strategy to develop young talent.
And it could be the building blocks for senior Wagga teams to follow suit once the current crop of juniors take the step up.
WWWP have sent out expressions of interest for teams to join the Albury competition, which is due to begin next month.
Early matches will likely all be played in Albury due to border restrictions, but it's hoped games will played in Wagga later in the campaign.
"Our major focus for this year is to develop our juniors and really give them opportunities to grow and strengthen their talents," WWWP president Josh Paul said.
"They're just so eager, we have a big pool of kids who want to get better. We felt the best way to do that was to throw them into the O and M league, which has always been a strong regional competition.
It's just another level. our kids were keen to do it and the parents were committed to travelling the distance, and O and M were happy to take us.
"That was probably the biggest thing, getting the commitment from the coaches and parents,. They can see the benefits it will bring our kids, regional places have been disadvantaged a bit the last couple of years."
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Paul said the preferred long term strategy would see the youngsters continue to play in Albury in the senior competition.
"It's a huge step up. You've got players in the O and M seniors playing in state league as well who are passing their knowledge onto kids," he said.
"It's just the 14s and 16s at the moment, we'll see how that goes and hopefully we can embed ourselves into their competitions as well.
"We've tried it before and we're fostering some great young juniors. Hopefully once they become seniors we'd love to continue fostering that partnership.
WWWP junior development officer Paula Shumack said playing more games in Wagga for the elite juniors would be a godsend.
"We hope it's the start of a culture where we can supply teams in the O and M comp. The travel time for the elite kids will be cut, because they can play home games for their own town rather than for a team in the Albury competition.
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