Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010-11 Here we Come

I am anxious to get the 2010-11 season underway. So much to do, so many changes in programming and events, all good. The only fly in the ointment is pools, the crucial piece that is out of our control.

In May I was told by the city of Winnipeg that the main competition facility, Pan Am Pool, was being shutdown from August to October for repair. Two months is a very, very long time for an annual shutdown, but given what we know, not surprising. It was also May that I was told we would be moved to another city pool in September while Pan Am was closed and we'd hear about where that was soon. That was in May. I heard where we are on August 25. Try getting fall information out in mid August when you don't know when or where you train. Arghh.

But, that is not too depressing as I expect it. Plus, I am looking at having some exciting new coaches added to the mix this season so we will see a new energy level at practice each week. We also have Claire Davis making sure that we have a 12U program that carries the "I Love Water Polo" banner that is so popular in Canada right now. Truth is, ILWP was very much modeled after our 12U program of the past 10 years, the one that developed all the national team and NCAA athletes recently. We've gotten away from that youthful focus recently and Claire is going to help me revitalize things.

We'll also be adding some new practices to the schedule, and some new pools, so that promises to be interesting as we hope to make neighbourhoods more important to 12U development. Of course, that requires pool access and city cooperation, a BIG hurdle.

The thing that will be most exciting for players is the creation of the Prairie League for older players. All our 16 and older athletes will be considered for our teams and we will be having a considerable number of older players return to regular practice and play to push older athletes technically and physically. I will have lots to write about that league as it gets going.

And, in case people are not aware, we will host the Canadian Senior Women's National Championships next May in Winnipeg. A chance for the NCAA players from Hawaii, Cal and Indiana to play with their sisters, former team mates and each other one more time in front of a home crowd. I will look forward to that all year.