2013 NWPL Finals – message from Chris Harrison

Hi Erkin,

Over the course of the weekend I read the following statement from your blog titled ‘2013 NWPL Finals Day 1’.

“Whilst the Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre is a reasonable venue, it would have been more appropriate and fitting if the ‘flagshipChris Harrison Australian domestic competition’s Grand-Finals of the National Water Polo League’ were held at the Sydney Olympic pool in Homebush where the conditions are much better for teams’ match preparation. There is inadequate lighting during the evening matches and uncomfortable seatings for spectators at Ryde.”

I have heard and seen some incorrect speculation prior to this and thank you for letting me use your forum to respond and clarify to your followers.

What you and others were probably not aware of, whilst we have had a long standing booking reaching over many years at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC). They are currently hosting channel 7’s “Celebrity Splash” which has required a closed venue and I believe a substantial payment was made to the Sydney Olympic park governing authority for the hire and use of that facility.

This has also affected the training of Diving , Swimming and Water polo at the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS). Swimming in particular had to find another venue leading up to their recent National Trials held in Adelaide.

Water polo Australia Limited undertook costing to look at holding the final series interstate given the even spread of teams however some teams had already booked accommodation in Sydney and the interstate pool hire was more expensive than Ryde.

Your points on both seating and lighting are correct it is an uncomfortable venue for spectators and not one that is easily resolved. The lighting is another issue, when Ryde was the Olympic water polo venue clearly they would have had lighting suitable for media broadcasting. Since that time with the roof being lowered lighting would have been removed and again not an easy fix or solution.

As per your comments on the team information in the programs unfortunately we are reliant on this information being forwarded to us by the clubs within the required time frames.

I applaud the fact that there is an independent knowledgeable voice commenting on water polo and whilst we may not agree on certain points Erkin, it is always a thought provoking discussion.

About Erkin Эркин Shagaev Шагаев
European, world, Olympic champion, two times World Cup winner Чемпион Европы, мира, Олимпийских игр, двукратный обладатель Кубка мира

2 Responses to 2013 NWPL Finals – message from Chris Harrison

  1. Jeff Barrow says:


    I agree the venue was not ideal but most of those aspects could be addressed. There was also one key aspect which is good for the promotion of the game.That is, the proximity of the spectators to the players. I believe the game is better promoted and appreciated by the spectators when they are close to the water and players.
    The aspects of meeting rooms (easily addressed and space should have been created via portable marquis etc), seating (addressable, and it was bloody uncomfortable, so some hired seating or cushions) and the lighting was not a major factor although it could have been improved with some temporary lighting. The scoreboard was appalling and again is easily addressed. Several of these issues could and should have been managed for the event just concluded.

    SOPAC is an excellent facility but does not promote the game as well as smaller arena’s. I would like to see a more creative way to promote the game to spectators and that means getting them closer to the players and the game.

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