Water Polo Australia today announced that Queensland will transition to a new single entity that will participate in the 2019 and 2020 Australian Waterpolo League (“AWL”) seasons.
The Queensland Breakers and Brisbane Barracudas participation will be suspended during this period with all stakeholders committed to working towards the final governance and operating models over the coming months following an extensive consultation process.
The new entity is designed to ensure a sustainable and effective daily training and playing pathway environment for aspiring and elite athletes in Queensland by maximising the use of resources to an aligned entity and pathway for Queensland representation on national teams.
Additionally, a commitment from the group to work hand in hand with the Queensland Academy of Sport (“QAS”) for the benefit of players will help improve alignment between competition and performance pathways within the State.
With the Australian Waterpolo League forming an important part of the athlete development and overall high performance pathway, consideration was also taken throughout the review as to how a new model could support high performance outcomes and Australian teams succeeding on the international stage.
The QAS is supportive of WPA and the direction taken. The new model will allow for increased cooperation in development of water polo talent within Queensland as well as a true collaboration of key stakeholders to deliver value to players and the sport as a whole.
Bringing Queensland’s best athletes together in a daily training and competitive environment, will ensure sustainable high performance success and provide athletes in Queensland the best opportunities to achieve domestic and international success.
The entity will be responsible for all obligations to WPA Club License Agreement, with the current licenses across the league due for renewal at the end of the 2020 season.
Water Polo Australia have not closed the door on both Clubs being reinstated under the new AWL agreements post the 2020 season. However, stakeholders concerned believe that action was needed now to ensure current investment in the sport is maintained and that water polo continues to develop and grow in Queensland.