For those close to me in the sport, this will come as no surprise as I have discussed an exit strategy from the role of CEO of Water Polo Australia (WPA) for a long period of time, but I can now confirm that I have come to the decision to step down as CEO after the 2016 Rio Olympics.
There is always a reason to stay on for “just another conference, Olympic Games, World Championship cycle etc.” but I have always prided myself on having the ability to know when the time is right, and I had the same sense of purpose when I finished my playing career in Seoul 1988 as I do now.
I have a tremendous amount of satisfaction looking back on what has been achieved in the six years I have been with WPA. I am proud of where the sport has moved to, and how it is now regarded with our important stakeholders, the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Institute of Sport and our Institute network.
I take pride in being able to point to our funding investment from the Government increasing from $1,700,000 in 2009 to $3,600,000 in 2016. Our turnover has increased from close to $2,000,000 to $6,500,000. We also unified the sport in 2013 with a single brand, and we moved into state of the art offices at Sydney Olympic Park, which has improved our ability to service our members and has allowed us to move with the times and thrive against our peers.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the States for their willingness to be part of a journey to ensure the sport says fresh and continues to grow.
Special mention also needs to go to the fabulous athletes and their support teams including their parents, who co-invest in our sport with money, time and volunteerism to ensure their children have the best possible chance to fulfil their dreams.
And finally, as always, thank you to the team at the office who will be foot to the floor with Rio plans and also Tokyo planning (already!)
While there is still plenty to do between now and Rio and I will be continuing to work tirelessly with the team in this important year, the WPA Board will shortly commence the recruitment process for my replacement. Myself and the WPA Board want to ensure the smoothest transition and that will be our focus over the coming months.
Outside of getting our teams prepared for the Rio Games, I’m looking forward also to next month’s National Water Polo League Final which is heading back to Melbourne for the first time in more than 20 years. There have been some big events in Melbourne this year already, delivering strong crowd attendances with the NWPL Final is expected to cap off a fantastic finish to the season. With places still up for grabs in the top six and not many points separating those at the top, we can expect the next month of #NWPL16 competition to be fierce.
I look forward to catching up with as many of you as possible before my tenure finishes and welcome your continued support of our teams on our Road to Rio.
For those interested in the Water Polo Australia CEO role currently advertised by the WPA Board – click here.