One Year with Matt Southerden

It’s my pleasure to present my first Chair’s report. It has been a pleasure to have been the Chair of the Club for the past 12 months. Much has happened during that time.

This year saw us tweak the Club's vision and line up our purpose to be more centric on our members and the future of our Club. I wish to start by thanking the outgoing (current) Club committee for all your hard work and long hours organising in the background and to the numerous volunteers who give up their time to help us – it is greatly, greatly appreciated.
Volunteerism is the core foundation on which we are built and is something that we need to foster to ensure that we build a future for the Club. By ensuring that your fellow Club members contribute positively to the development of our teams, Club and sport, you are not only performing your responsibilities to each other but you are also taking action to lighten the burden of others.

When I reflect on the past year, I am struck by how many of us give up our time each week to be here and be part, knowing that there are so many other things happening in people’s lives, it is so powerful the contribution and opportunity this creates for our members. It is not always easy or possible for me to say exactly how I feel towards the sacrifices which each volunteer gives without any personal or financial gain and for this you all have my sincere gratitude. To Mrs Cameron and our coaching contractors, thank you for all your work and contributions over the past twelve months.

The ongoing success of Waitak is up to each member to foster and grow the Club. As a committee, we aim to provide an environment where Club members can “develop and grow in to well-rounded athletes, through encouragement, knowledge, ability and fun” and this is supported by our purpose of “Empowering our athletes by providing opportunities to contribute towards their own success, Encourage our athletes to develop their skills and abilities in a team lead environment and Engage and build our local athlete base.” It can not all be done by a few people and it is up to our volunteers, contractors, club members and visitors to lead the direction on a daily basis.

Last year was a good year for the Club – we had the senior womens team win National League and then proceed on to win team of the year at the New Zealand Water Polo awards. In the latter part of the year, we welcomed our head coach Davor to the Club and set the 2018 plan into motion, with the earliest start to trainings that we have had in a long time (which in itself has created issues that we did not foresee). It was a great night on April 29th when we celebrated the 2017 season and awarded 44 Club members for their contribution and achievement. Seeing the teams around the pool the camaraderie that is formed from such an early age is so great and I know from this there will be lasting friendships. It is what we are about and we need to foster it more.

It was Albert Einstein who once said: "the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again but yet to expect different results". Having taken stock of where we are as a Club, we need to change, there is no other option and these changes will need to be implemented very quickly in the coming months to ensure the long term stability of the Club.

In order to achieve what is needed we are going to need to make changes – this will start with realigning our work plans and priorities focusing on player pathways from primary school through to intermediate, better governance of the Club, new ways that we can leverage our brand and ensuring we are supporting the volunteers and club members.

In closing, I want to personally thank the Club members for your support in the past year as I have gotten up to speed. The Club has been going through a lot of changes and as we rebuild, I look forward to seeing how far we can go.

Thank you.
Matt Southerden