The world around us sometimes seems like a never ending continuation of situations, decisions and problems happening for reasons long forgotten and meanings long lost. It seems that our road is already paved for us by those who have walked it before us, and it is up to us to walk the same path for those who will come after us. It is not the possibility of a mediocre and molded life that frightens us, it is the lack of opportunity to change anything about it. Having dreams means ignoring everything society thinks, feels and allows to be possible. Dreams come from that private place where we are the heroes. They come from that same place all our prayers come from. They come from that place where our story has a happy ending, or at least a possibility of one. Sports are an agreed upon platform on which dreams are allowed to exist and having them just means having hope and belief in those rare opportunities that impact and change our lives. We are all here just trying to give the meaning to all the trials and tribulations that life puts us trough. Sports allow us a glimpse into a world which is made fair by the acceptance that nobody is above the rules of a sport. Sports make us equals.
Recently a lot of sports, and companies around them, have started to raise awareness about the female side of their respected sports. Perfect example would be the company called UFC. Their rise to the mainstream came together with the rise of their first female Champion Ronda Rousey. She was the first UFC fighter to be on The Ellen Show. The Late Shows, Jay Leno and all of the other kinds of “mainstreamy” media. By consciously raising awareness of their women’s divisions, UFC was able to attract, not only more women to their sport, but also to raise the awareness of the entire sport of Mixed Martial Arts. They adjusted themselves accordingly to their new market and benefited greatly. They were able not only to redefine themselves as a company, but to redefine the whole sport of MMA. Maybe there was time when women tennis players were going through the same transition and nowadays you can’t tell me that Roger Federer is a bigger superstar then Serena Williams is. Shout out to Ana Kournikova also. My belief is that the first Water Polo player to have 1 Million followers is going to be a woman. If you work in retail, like I do, then you know how important women really are, haha. If you don’t then I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you. Usually when customers ask me for something I give them an honest answer about the stuff they ask me. That doesn’t mean that I’m Santa Clause. Bitch, please. Of course I am trying to make a buck. Recycled honesty is a term I like to use. From my experience, it is more about planting a seed, then convincing anybody into anything. Now, if I was a sales man selling Water Polo. How would I do it? I would start with a good one liner and see where it takes me.
”What if I was to tell you that you could put your kids into the most energy draining Sport there is, within the safest environment possible. Now is that something you might be interested in? :smile:”
I want to start with the parents as a part of the Water Polo recipe on purpose, because without them all of this wouldn’t be possible. A club needs the parents to be on the stands cheering, to the same extent as it needs the kids in the water playing. Kids create a reason to have a community, but parents give the community depth and in a big way help maintain the community. They are the ones who are willing to go the extra mile, not only for their own kid, but for the community and the club itself. Find a way to help your parents in any way possible. Help them organize themselves easier with the club and in between themselves. You will see the effect it will have on your whole club, not only the team. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a whole club to raise a champion. Adding girls to a team, or adding girl teams to a club creates a lot of possibilities for ones club and all the families surrounding it. First, imagine the amount of brothers and sisters which are now going to train the same sport. Alone the effects of a possibility, that one family can put their boy and their girl in the same sport, is something which makes sport in itself much more convenient for everybody included. I presume that the sister-brother duo is going to be the most influential unit inside the Water Polo’s future. Having more kids means having either more coaches, if the club can afford it, or more kids for one coach. The more equipment one coach, or one club, has to order at the beginning of every season, the better. The companies around water polo, which are very few and in between, will now have to produce more. They will either have to modernize themselves accordingly, or there will be a potential for some new Water Polo company to take a piece of the pie. The main thing is that the market of our sport is growing. More companies around the Water Polo means more competition, which is always good for the improvement of our equipment and our sport, and it helps with the margins too :smile:. If it wants to remain relevant Water Polo has to do one more thing. It has to start creating some freakin jobs. Nowadays, the value of a certain brand has a lot to do with their business model. To put it plainly, its not only “what you are about” that it is important, but “how are you about it” is something which also plays a big big role. More jobs Water Polo in itself contains, it gives us more value and power as a sport, as a platform and as a business entity.
How do you know that your Sport has a healthy business model? Pure and simple. A good business can help change somebody’s life. Water Polo should not run away from its responsibility of providing possibilities for an individual to change his, or hers life. Accepting women as a part of an equation shakes the very foundation of our sport. Since 2000 Sidney Olympics woman’s Water Polo has a possibility of winning an Olympic medal. Since then the amount of participating countries has increased from 6 in Sidney, to 10 countries which will participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which are exactly 500 days removed from the day I started writing this article. So far the most success has had Team USA with 2 golds, 2 silvers and one bronze. Australia, Italy and Holland managed to win one medal over the course of 5 Olympic Games. Women sports in general don’t have such a long and continuous tradition as men sports do. With the change of times so has the role of a woman in a society changed and sports like Water Polo are clearly benefiting from it, but only if they are fully willing to accept that fact. Prior to women’s Water Polo starting to participate at the Olympic Games, not a lot of countries were investing in women’s Water polo. In these circumstance countries which have had better organized sport systems were able early on to integrate and develop women’s Water Polo and were able to not only win medals, but also set bars and standards.
Some invest only in those sports with a possibility of winning an Olympic Medal and some invests in the sport itself and then on its own the sport should be able to produce Olympic Champions. That is if we take into consideration that the Olympic Games are the mountain top of a certain Sport. So what is the real importance of women for Water Polo? When you take a closer look it seems like, at least business-wise, those Sports who don’t hold Olympic games as its pinnacle are generally way better off, then those who “have to” participate and adjust themselves to an Olympic calendar. Maybe the ideology of the Olympics is something which is one of those immortal truths that have been lost down through the generations, which, as time went on, were more worried about their role in the Game, then about the Sport itself. Women are going to change all of this. They are going to be the main content creators of our sports future. Never mind if they win, or if they lose. Women are going to create stories to which all of us are going to relate to. Their trailblazing is going to redefine our Dreams, define our goals and there is nothing we can do about it but enjoy. Change is a wonderful thing if you don’t fight it. So embrace it.