CEO Corner: More funds to help build our water polo world

(25.06.2015) – A major focus of the Water Polo Australia (WPA) board and myself is to increase participation and membership in our sport.

Essentially we want to grow the water polo world here in Australia – make our water polo community a much bigger and more diverse family.

That is obviously not an easy task but one we are committed to as a sport.

To help in this area we have been very fortunate to receive a significant increase in participation funding from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

Our baseline funding has increased from $61k to $200k, which will allow our National Pathway Manager Matt Turnbull to further develop a program that will assist the States and the sport overall in driving participation and in turn commercialisation.

The ASC have also assisted greatly with another couple of project funds, one to cover specialist team performance enhancement that we have used for a team sports psychologist for our Aussie Sharks team.

We are very grateful for the financial assistance, whether that is used for in the water performance or for driving recruitment strategies out of the pool. All funding helps!

One thing we do know, though, is that we can’t build a sustainable future for our sport if we don’t commercialise the sport in a way that allows us to not be solely reliant on government funding.

To that end WPA is committed to the commercialisation of the sport and has been working with Team Epic, a marketing and brand consultancy, to analyse what assets our sport has and how those assets can enhance our ability to partner with commercial backers, and all the while increase our participation and membership.

The final report and recommendations from Team Epic are due in the next week and then the next stages of the commercialisation project will be the activation of the approved recommendations. It is a long process but well worth it to nurture the future of our sport.

From the water, hearty congratulations are in order to the Aussie Stingers on winning the silver medal at the FINA World League Super Finals in Shanghai. Given all the injuries and the calibre of player we had sitting on the sidelines or back here in Australia it was an outstanding effort and a promising sign as we continue on the #RoadtoRio.

It’s an exciting time ahead for the Aussie Sharks too who are currently playing in the men’s Super Final in Italy. The newest member of the sharks playing roster is big Joe Kayes, who received his Australian passport earlier this month and we are now awaiting the necessary clearance requirements from FINA to play for Australia.. Welcome Joe and good luck this week to all of the Sharks.

It is a very important time of the season as we work towards the world championships in Kazan, Russia and our teams deserve all of our support and best wishes. Make sure you follow their progress over the next few months via our website and social media platforms and don’t be afraid to leave a comment with your messages of support!

Until then, I hope you score some goals

Chris Harrison

CEO – Water Polo Australia