Water polo fights back

Michael and Luca Altieri want to see the Tom Hoad Cup continue.
Michael and Luca Altieri want to see the Tom Hoad Cup continue.

After a July 23 Melville Times report that this year’s event would not go ahead, upset residents started a petition asking it to reconsider allowing the event to be held between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, as it has been for the past 10 years.

Cup organiser Gerard Neesham said it was the only time international teams had a long enough break to make the journey and most overseas school teams had only a short holiday between Christmas and New Year.

The petition to City chief executive Shayne Silcox asks the council to consider the benefits to the wider community over the complaints of a small group.

Kardinya family the Altieris have been actively involved in the event for many years. Luca (19) has played in seven Cups, three as a junior and four as a senior, and Michael (18) is also a player of note who will now miss out on the chance.

Their father Joe said the event was a way to show the world the amazing Bicton Pool and give youth a chance to play against the world’s best.

‘There’s nothing else like this, not only in WA but in Australia,’ he said.

‘In the past it’s been televised to other countries like Japan and they can see how beautiful this part of Perth is.’

State Opposition sport and recreation spokesman Peter Watson said the Cup’s cancellation was a loss of opportunity for local players.

‘It is disappointing to hear the renowned Tom Hoad Cup will no longer take place in Bicton,’ he said.

‘It was a fantastic opportunity for young West Australians to showcase their water polo skills against some of the best in the world.’

Dr Silcox said the city would consider allowing the event between Christmas and New Year every second year.

‘We would consider approving it if it was to be held bi-annually as a way of offering some respite to residents who have suffered amenity issues for many years over the festive season due to the Tom Hoad Cup,’ he said.

‘We have asked the club to investigate either a change of date for the event ” the City has some indication the club would be able to attract international teams after the New Year – or alternatively to seek a different venue for the Christmas-New Year period.’