What a year – 2020

There has certainly been no other year like 2020 for most of us. We have all faced disruption and uncertainty, and what we have thought of as normal, at times has been tested.

As 2020 ends, it is interesting to look back at the year that was and the year that wasn’t.

In January, AYC started with a bang in Brisbane. Water Polo SA sent teams in 14s, 16s and 18s. What a celebration of water polo! Our teams performed well and represented our association with spirit and passion. Thank you to the players who went and the coaches, managers, administrators and parents that made it happen. It is a big event and the peak for many of our members each year.

The Adelaide Jets almost finished their season before Covid-19 stopped play. If you have not been to an Adelaide Jets game, it is time you did (in 2022). The Jets play in the premier Australian Water polo League. Week-in-week-out they play against the best players in Australia (and some from other parts of the world). In most games, our teams were competitive and gave their all. Thank you to Raf Sterk  and Eddie Dennis for their dedication to their coaching and squads, and the players for their hard work. Peter Cleary and his band of helpers also worked hard behind the scenes to enable it to happen. The Jets Women finished their season on a positive note with a win.

Our 2019/2020 local competitions came close to finishing too, before Covid-19 shut us down. The 2020/2021 Summer Season has started well, with most players back in the water. Our season is hotting up just as the New Year is about to start.

Well done to all who competed, scored, coached and cheered over the past year. These local competitions are the heart and soul of our community. Thank you to all of our clubs for your partnership and support. Thank you to Anna Porcaro and the Technical Committee for your input and knowledge. These competitions are all the better for all your combined wisdom.

Referees, where do we start? Our team of referees of all ages and experience are on pool deck almost every day of our season’s competition. We particularly appreciate the manner in which they officiate and the effort they make to educate our teams and players as well as ensuring fairness for all. Well done.

On Sunday afternoons, some of our youngest players have had the opportunity to start (hopefully) their long water polo journey with the eight-week Flippa Ball program. This program is fun and has been designed specifically for 12s and under. Mark Parrish is leading this program and anyone who has been at these events  will know, he has a passion for teaching water polo.

We have welcomed Chris Luz-Raymond to our office as the Executive Officer and he has brought a fresh perspective and new eyes to our operations. Not many new employees join an organisation in the middle of a pandemic, when everything is shutting down but Chris took that leap. We appreciate his efforts in very trying circumstances.

The Board has had a full agenda over the past few months as our community has returned to the pool. We have all joined the board because we want to help the Water Polo community in South Australia to grow and thrive. Please do not hesitate to come up to us, or email us if you have any feedback, positive or negative. We need your ideas and comments and we welcome your input.

We look forward to 2021 with much anticipation, optimism and excitement, especially with what lies ahead for water polo in SA.

The Water Polo SA Board

Jon Harmer                                         Michelle Barnes                                                Tim Dansie

Jess Martin                                         Verity Edwards                                                  Paul Barnett