“On the Ball with the GM” 7

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Dear water polo players, officials, and stakeholders,

There is plenty going on at Water Polo WA and the season is yet to start!

Water Polo WA Charity Quiz Night

We are still interested to hear from you if you would like to volunteer to help organise the quiz night and/or be a member of our Profile Fundraising and Events Committee (PFE). Please just send me an e-mail if you are interested. We are also seeking donations for the silent auction so please get in touch if you have anything that you think we could use.

WPWA Photo Polo

Our first photo value (below) has been produced and is hanging proudly in the office! It was also shared in the staff structure document posted last week. I am very much looking forward to sharing the other four value photos with you within the next week or so.

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up."

WPWA State Teams

WA 15U/17U State Teams are soon to be named. Communication will change to be focused on logistics for the travelling teams (travel, accommodation etc.) with the team managers taking on a key role in this regard.


Just a reminder that we have Staunch as an apparel and swimwear partner. Vaughn has been a great help in setting up arrangements for state team uniforms and some new items for supporters. Check out the website and please do contact him if you have any questions.

Performance Pathway Program Review

It is important to note that the focus from the review will be to improve on existing processes and procedures while retaining the existing structure.

The Water Polo WA Board have endorsed the formation of a Water Polo WA High Performance & Pathways Committee (HPPC). This committee will initially work on developing a term of reference to be shared with the membership that will clarify its roles and responsibilities. One of these responsibilities will be to prepare and communicate feedback on the PPP Review information that was presented to the Board.

Board Member Danielle Woodhouse has been appointed as Chair of the Committee and Andrew Ford has been included as a member with GM Kevin Knapp to provide administrative support to the committee. The HPPC with the assistance for the Board will consider additional representation/skill sets for the committee and will approach potential candidates to be endorsed by the Board.

Go Polo

Both Tasmania and South Australia have indicated they want to share our Stroll O Polo experiences with their members. I think this is a very positive affirmation for former GM Sue Gliddon and others, who initiated and developed the program.


I would like to take this opportunity to provide a little more information on the staff that are joining the team here at WPWA.

Mia Buswell – Manager Growth and Participation

Mia Buswell

“With urging from some friends, I had a mature-age entry into water polo. I’ve played a lot of basketball and have always loved the water, so the transition to water polo seemed logical. I made my debut in 2021 and absolutely love it – if only my talent was equal to my enthusiasm”

“Having recently found my own passion for water polo, I am excited to introduce more people to the great sport, to help grow and strengthen the water polo community in WA. Getting people to try a new sport is about making it fun, getting them to stay is about making them welcome.”

Mia joins the WAWPI team with over 25 years’ experience in the sport and recreation industry, with a focus on grassroots and growing participation. As a UWA graduate in Human Movement and Psychology, she knows the benefits of being part of a team sport and has a passion for getting more people active and engaged. 

Mia’s most recent role was with Tenpin Bowling Australia, successfully piloting, adapting, and coordinating their national participation programs in WA and supporting a team of staff in other states. She has also lived in remote and regional WA, where she coordinated the Sporting Schools program for Sport AUS and worked in recreation and community development with local government. Mia is keen to find creative ways to introduce water polo to more people throughout the state.

Oliver Fonda – Manager Club Development & Pathways

Oliver Fonda

Oliver was born and raised in Hungary where water polo is a truly national sport. Within weeks of arriving in Australia he joined the Triton Water Polo Club where he still plays as a senior member. His teammates over the years included Paul and Mark Oberman, Richard Pengelly and Glen Townsend, all Australian Olympic players. Oliver’s teams have won several state championships in Perth over his long career, whilst he was voted “best and fairest” in his division two years in the row at age 45 and 46. He also represented the Australian water polo community in several World Masters Games held in Perth, Montreal (Canada), Boras (Sweden), and recently in Budapest (Hungary). His highest achievement was winning gold at the Master’s Olympics held in Sydney in 2009 as a member of the Hungarian national team.

Oliver is keen to pass on his knowledge and experience in water polo and help to build strong clubs and successful pathways for coaches and officials.

Oliver Fonda (front row, second from right), next to national coach Tamas Szekeres in Sydney 2009

Renee Rechichi – Officer Growth and Participation

Renee Rechichi

Having grown up around water polo, Renee has played for 14 years and in this time has played juniors, seniors and represented the state. Renee has also coached, refereed, and volunteered for several seasons.

Away from water polo, Renee has held numerous administrative roles, and recently completed a degree in criminology and criminal justice. 

Renee is looking forward to beginning her role with WPWA when she returns from working a ski season in Mt Buller. 

Bruno Barna – Coordinator Competitions

Bruno Barna is moving on to a new job and we wish him every success. Bruno has been a great asset to WPWA, and I have valued his support and insights over the last few months. Bruno has indicated he intends to continue being involved as a player and official within the sport so you will see him around.


As we head into the administrative challenges regarding flight arrangements for 120 players and team management, I thought it might be good to share a story about travel insurance.

My niece recently planned a trip to Darwin, having not had a holiday for a very long time. She is Italian with English being her second language. She made all the bookings herself and when my partner and I asked if she had arranged her travel insurance, she said no. We asked her why and she said she decided not to when asked if she wanted to insure one leg or two!

Kevin Knapp

GM Water Polo WA