20 Jul Worldwide Water Polo Players Organization presented By: Tim Hartog Men, Women One day ahead of world championship competition in the Bernat Picornell pool in Barcelona, Spain the first-ever Water Polo Players Organization (WPO) was presented at Club Natacio Atletic-Barceloneta. Attended by a variety of athletes set to compete at the World Championships and representing the involvement of their country for this initiative, four key figures addressed the athletes and media about the ideas and goals of the organization. Five-time Olympian and champion in 1996 with the Spanish national team Jordi Sans kicked off on behalf of the Barceloneta club by welcoming the attendents, followed by Organization President Tony Azevedo, captain of USA men's national team, stated that he hopes that the organization will lead to more open discussions between involved parties to help the sport of water polo to grow worldwide: 'Let's start making a difference', he concluded. The focus then turned to Spanish national team member Felipe Perrone, who was thanked by Azevedo for his effort in Spain and Brazil and talked about the aim of WPO to reach things that individuals can't. He hopes the organization will provide a place for athletes from around the world to put in ideas and that should develop in all countries. What followed was a word by Organization attorney Alessandro Oliverio who got into the practical side. He told the first task of the association will be to set up country delegates, which partially happened already. According to Oliviero local views and a base in each country are ever-important. Furthermore the organization will collect as much details possible on not only all athletes, to exchange information, but on clubs as well. Another key feature will be the set up of a lawyer network which will be followed by a issue of a player contract draft, to give players an example in their negotitations and a idea of what to expect and demand. The WPO website will be a meeting place of discussions and ideas and therefore has the aim to become a community to all its member worldwide. As Azevedo cloused out the conference: 'this is for all players around the world. Spread the word in your country.'