Cup cancelled after complaints

Melville Water Polo Club committee member and Tom Hoad Cup organiser Gerard Neesham confirmed the event would not go ahead this year, but said there were more residents who supported the event than opposed it.

‘I know a small number of residents complain about the noise, but there are as many who volunteer to run the event, hundreds of local children who have played in the junior events and thousands of residents who have enjoyed watching it,’ he said.

Neesham said the City of Melville had responded to the complaints of local residents about interruptions caused by the annual event by requesting the club change the timing to be outside of the Christmas and New Year period.

‘This is the only window when we can access the best teams from Europe as they have a short break over Christmas,’ he said.

School teams from overseas were also limited to this time as the school holidays were short in the northern hemisphere over Christmas.

City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said the City would not approve the continuation of the Tom Hoad Cup event over the week of Christmas and New Year, and had asked the Melville Water Polo Club to investigate alternative periods of the year in which to hold the event.

‘The City is aware of the significant amenity issues and discomfort that local residents have experienced over the Christmas-New Year season for a number of years as a result of the intense level of activity the Tom Hoad Cup brings to the area,’ Dr Silcox said.

‘There is also further pressure at this festive time of year, with many people using the adjacent Quarantine Park and Bicton Baths area for activity.

‘The City recognises that for local residents, the festive season should be a period when they are not confronted with any loss of amenity.

‘The City of Melville is supportive of the Melville Water Polo Club and recognises the value it contributes to the community.’

Mr Neesham, whose sons have competed in cup events, said the tournament made it possible for local children to compete against the world’s best without the expense of going overseas.

‘I could walk down the hill and watch my sons play against Croatia, and so could their friends and family,’ he said.

‘This is an unbelievably rich experience that’s been snatched away from local families.’