#1 Post – Toward Tokyo

While we progress rapidly towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with 140 days to go, WPA has been keeping one eye on the future. Performance Planning for 2020+ has been ongoing for some time with a range of the sports stakeholders and as concepts start to become strategies there are plenty of positives on the horizon.

We want to become the best water polo nation in the world.

Yep I know, its ambitious…but not impossible! When investigating where we currently sit and comparing to the strong competition around the world, one thing became clear…we are unique and have a system that could support a competitive advantage no other nation can replicate.

So attention has turned toward how we maximise what we have, which is a collective stakeholder program that includes clubs, states, institutes and academies of sport with diversity in its expertise, led nationally by WPA.

There is no illusion that achieving our vision is going to be easy and there are many matters we need to address, namely; athlete, coaching and official pathways, competition structures, athlete support and enhancing our international game experience.

We are lucky to have experienced and dedicated staff leading these areas and with stakeholder and broader community support, the depth of knowledge that will be gained to inform the final products is an exciting prospect.

In the coming months in conjunction with our state institute and academy of sport partners we will make in principle decisions on how water polo will be supported through the next four year cycle in these environments. The signs are promising but wont come without some compromise and that message is one we all need to remember. No road to success is a steady one of linear progression. There are going to be trials and tribulations, risks that don’t come to fruition, mistakes made, but if we persist and see the positive in adversity we will achieve success beyond many others expectations and maybe even our own!

The first such risk in our future planning is to embark on a year without a 20 & Under National Championships or NTC Challenge. The replacement though could be quite significant with a Toward Tokyo Camp to be conducted at the AIS from the 1st – 8th May. It will bring together the best 100 athletes outside of our current Olympic Squads and be a great opportunity to see what we will be working with from the 22nd August after Rio comes to a close.

We have compiled a summary to provide a good outline of the Toward Tokyo concept and how the camp will come to life. Now while not wanting to speak on behalf of those that have been part of its creation, it’s exciting!

Click here to read the Toward Tokyo Camp Summary.

In other news, the start of 2016 has been to say the least full on! Within the first three (and a bit) months we would have seen junior camps for men and women at B97, 98, 00 and 01 level plus 10 state talent camps and two forms of international competition for the Aussie Stingers. Not to mention the inaugural Island Cup held in conjunction with the first camp of the Aussie Sharks in Hobart who will head off to Europe next week for a two week tour.

To round it out we saw the National League come to a high quality finish in Melbourne. Congratulations to everyone for their contribution in making it a great event and to the victors Sydney University women and UWA men on their maiden titles.

Finally I’d like to welcome Bronwyn Smith to the team as the women’s program coordinator. Bronwyn has made a great start and will be a big asset for the program.

 

So until next time…be your best,
Tom Hill
Water Polo Australia 
High Performance Manager