Water Polo WA CEO reflects on near six-year journey

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OUTGOING Water Polo WA Chief Executive Dale Ballantyne, is proud of the growth he has seen in the sport in Western Australia during his time, as he moves on to his next journey.

Ballantyne arrived as CEO of WPWAI in May 2011 and, during this time, water polo has experienced significant growth in participation, has become financially stable and grown in the area of governance in the almost six years, since.

He arrived at WPWAI after a decade working with the WA Football Commission and it is Australian Rules that has attracted him back, with him accepting the role as Football Operations Manager with the Perth Football Club.

The introduction of four new clubs at Karratha, North Coast, Newman and Cockburn, while also accessing new pool facilities for water polo use, at Joondalup, Cockburn and Scarborough have been some of Dale’s many achievements.

The building of strong relationships with the WA Country Water Polo Association has also seen the increase of support and development of coaching and officials, along with the introduction of a new program in Quairading, while the Geraldton Water Polo Association has been given access to the Mid-West Academy of Sport.

During Ballantyne’s tenure he has introduced new sponsors Bendigo Bank, Auspole, Buccaneer Pools and Aquarius Wastewater to WPWAI.

He was a key driver in Water Polo WA’s involvement in various Department of Sport and Recreation projects and programs, which included the Champions of Change, a high performance review, and accessing annual grants to boost the sport.

Ballantyne drove the design and introduction of a new website and communication strategy, which was implemented at a low cost, and available to all affiliated clubs and associations.

He also introduced the sport to new social media initiatives which has helped the coverage of the sport in WA, and the presence online of WPWAI through the official website and social media channels.

Another successful and popular initiative was the live streaming of the SunSmart WPWAI Junior Grand Final Day.

Overall, Ballantyne has driven the implementation of key financial principles and policies to ensure that WPWAI remains vibrant, built on the sports governance and the Board structure and profile.

Perhaps the best way to sum up Ballantyne’s tenure is that water polo has enjoyed an increase in participation by approximately 60 per cent over the past six years.

Ballantyne has both enjoyed his time in WPWAI and is proud of the accomplishments he has overseen.

“I enjoyed my time at Water Polo WA and met some fantastic people, who have the best interests of the sport at heart,” Ballantyne said.

“I felt it was the right time for someone else to move into the administrative role to help run the sport in WA.

“Looking back on all that I have learnt, coupled with an appreciation of working within a smaller, amateur sport will be of great value as I move into a new phase of my working life.”

Everyone involved in water polo in Western Australia wishes to thank Dale for his contributions in his time at WPWAI, and wishes him, and wife Lesley, all the best in the future.