FAILURE OF AUSTRALIAN WATER POLO ADMINISTRATION: PART 1
It was a disaster waiting to happen. In 2021, most if not all overseas competitions returned to their pre-Covid normal. Every country aside from one realized the importance of local competition in an Olympic year.
Meanwhile in Australia, where National League competition is traditionally significantly shorter than most of those in Europe, Water Polo Australia decided to shorten the season even more.
Water Polo Australia (WPA) had, once again, decided to set precedent, creating their own model of competition seen nowhere else in the world- perhaps, because nowhere else in the world sees any merit in similar models.
A single 7 day competition was planned to take place in Brisbane. One week of competition which should really, if done properly, take place over months.
At the time of this announcement, not only was Brisbane ravaged by increasing Covid-19 cases, but this competition was going to cost each individual club a whopping $50,000 AUD.
So, during a time where athletes were more than ever before desperately relaying on WPA to come up with games and competition prior to the Tokyo Olympiad, they received the following:
- A tournament organized in Brisbane, despite only having one competing Brisbane-based club. (Cancelled)
- Arguably the most expensive tournament in the world.
- No option for the clubs to make their money back through competition.
- No financial support for clubs.
- Zero back-up or contingency plan in a year where 90% of all plans fell through due to COVID.
This lazy politically-motivated and irresponsible planning did the inevitable and backfired. A few days before the planned competition, WPA pathetically announced on social media what we all saw coming from 1,000,000 miles away.
WPA did not make a back-up plan, and Sydney clubs chose to plan their own tournament.
Clubs and their players would have spent an extraordinary amount of energy in an attempt to be able to afford and prepare for this competition. Most players have already taken their annual leave, and the sacrifices that had to be made up until that point go far beyond that.
As seems to be the case, little did they care.
How can the head sporting organization, which profits almost half a million dollars from National League annually and throws up to 4 million dollars at ‘travel’ for national teams (2019-2020 Annual Financial Report, WPA) pin the success of an entire season, and only chance at high-level competition in 2021 for Olympic athletes prior to Tokyo, on 7 days in Brisbane without a back-up plan?
As always the accountable manager (CEO) and his administration took zero responsibility for their clear lack of leadership, ultimately dooming the entire Olympic Campaign.
Stay tuned. As always, there is so much more to this story. What do you know?