WPSA has been actively visiting schools, delivering flyers, attending assemblies and running water polo demonstrations.
A major focus for WPSA is to connect with local schools in the south/southwest area, to have these schools who are close to the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre attend the centre to come and try water polo.
In April 2017, Seaview High School brought 32, year 8 students for a day of water polo which saw them learn the basic rules, skills, dry land warm up, drills in the pool and games over a 4-hour program. Feedback from this program was fantastic, the kids had a ball and are very keen to come back and participate in our High Schools Lightning Carnival to be held at SAALC in November 2017.
In May 2017, Hallett Cove High School brought 22, year 11 students for a 5-week program, 1 hour per week. Again the students thoroughly enjoyed the program, they were aided with the use of life jackets in week 1 and by week 5 no one needed a life jacket. They will bring a class of year 11 students to the centre every year and also participate with their year 8 cohort in the Lightning Carnival.
Work will continue during 2017-18 to encourage schools to come and try water polo and to also enter the Lightning Carnival.
Water Polo SA have had much success in attracting many young children to various FlippaBall programs run throughout 2016-17 including:
- FlippaBall at Noarlunga Aquatic Centre, 8-week program, approx. 12 participants
- FlippaBall at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, various programs through Term 4, 2016 and Term 1, 2017, some run by Jets players and special guest Olympian, Lea Yanitsas. Attracted over 25 participants
- Come and Try program run in the April 2017 school holidays at Adelaide Aquatic Centre, attracted 32 participants, this program ran again in the July holidays with 48 participants
Much research has been done and will continue to be done in sourcing alternative aquatic centres for our clubs to be able to run successful FlippaBall programs, as this is an extremely important pathway in the development of juniors into water polo. Negotiations are still continuing with having FlippaBall included in the DECD program, as they have moved into a safety education program and can see a relationship between water safety and water polo.
Season 2017-18 will see multiple FlippaBall centres in operation, initially run by Water Polo SA and qualified coaches. The focus will be on building these programs up to be sustainable programs that lead into club junior water polo programs and for clubs to take over the management of these programs.