“On the Ball with the GM” 3

Posted by:

Dear Water Polo players, officials, and stakeholders,  

It is good to be back in Perth following a much overdue family visit to the UK. I am sure, like many of  you, that COVID played havoc with planned family time, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity  to spend time with close relatives for the first time in 3 years. 

But now back to business.  

Go Go Polo 

No sport can function without the dedication and support of officials, and we are very fortunate to  have several very experienced as well as up and coming officials in our sport. Just like players and  coaches, our officials strive for excellence, and I acknowledge the hard work of everyone one involved  in facilitating and committing to professional development in officiating. 

It is my great pleasure to showcase James Hull, who was the recipient of the Gary Payne Perpetual  Trophy for Junior Referee Encouragement Award for 2021/22. I have had the pleasure of meeting Gary and would like to add my personal congratulations to him for this great achievement. James coordinated all PSA Table Officials, refereed for PSA, and undertook IGSSA pool coordination on behalf of WPWA in 2021/22 Season and refereed at both Senior State League and Junior  State League. James attended his first Australian Youth Championships in April 2022.

We look forward to seeing James’ future development as an Official in our sport.

Left to right. Gary Payne, James Hull and Liz Burman

Events on the Horizon!!!

Water Polo WA Charity Quiz Night 

I am very pleased to report that progress is being made regarding the above event. We will look to hold the event as a preseason curtain-raiser (date to be confirmed) and I will be meeting with Inclusion  Solutions within the next week or so to facilitate the necessary engagement with the charity sector.  My hope is that we can partner with a charity that delivers services for people living with a physical disability who could/would benefit from water-based activities. Initially, we would look to support the chosen charity partner through our quiz night, but in the long term we would hopefully provide access to programs as well. 

I have commenced the creation of a Profile, Fundraising and Events Committee to assist with the delivery of events and associated activities, but I would be interested to hear from you if you have experience in running quiz nights and/or would like to assist on the night. 

WPWA Annual Awards Night 

The WPWA Awards Night will be planned for the end of the season (again with the date still to be confirmed).  

I have made initial enquiries with Venues West (HBF Stadium) regarding suitable venues. As with the quiz night, if you are interested in getting involved on the night then please do reach out. 

WPWA Photo Polo 

Just a reminder to ask you to send in your photographs that speak to our values below. I am looking for photographs that you feel represent the value along with a short quote/statement that supports that photo. 

As an example, I might use the picture of James Hull with the quote, “Gary Payne Perpetual Trophy for  Junior Referee Encouragement Award for 2021/22 – Winner James Hull.” Celebrating excellence in officiating. Striving for and being the best that you can be. 

The values are listed below. 


I will engage with a panel from the Board to determine the winners across each value entry and these winning pictures will be embedded in our strategic plan on the website. 

The pictures will also be displayed in the WPWAI Offices for the year and then presented as awards at the Awards Night at the end of the year. 

This will become an annual photographic competition that will engage with our wider community,  provide recognition to entries and critically, bring our values to life with inspiring pictures and quotes. 

Please send your photograph and or short description as to why your picture shows a lived value to my e-mail address and please make the picture as hi-res as possible. 

PS I would love to receive some photographs from our kids!!

Performance Pathway Program Review 

Surveys have been conducted and interviews are being completed at present. I am aware that the survey may not have reached everyone. I will endeavour to seek feedback from as many people as possible and discuss with our consultant how best to incorporate additional information into the final report. Please be assured that the final report will be in the form of a  summary of key findings and recommendations that ultimately will be presented to the WPWA Board and key stakeholders for consideration.  


Bruno Barna is currently on leave. Bruno has indicated that he will be checking and responding to emails, but please appreciate that he is spending time with family and may not be able to respond straight away. 


I have enjoyed a rewarding career in the sport and recreation field as well as the charity/not-for-profit sector. I have learned a great deal from some great coaches, players, and managers, but what I believe has been my greatest lesson learned, has been the process of reflection (thinking things through before acting). 

In the very fast-paced life that most people live today, decision-making often takes place without the time to reflect on the consequences. This does not mean that decisions made are necessarily wrong, but the risks certainly go up. 

“Reflect on actions and act on reflections” 

Making time for reflection will facilitate better decision making and positive outcomes. 

Kevin Knapp 

GM Water Polo WA