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BIWPAcademy 18/19 pool

Season 19/20 kicked off with 18 athletes, half of them from abroad.

A new season has started at the BIWPAcademy with a group of student-athletes ready to perform to their full potential. The core service of Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA), running from September to June, has started its fifth season with plenty of new features and a new agreement with Club Natació Sant Feliu, a Barcelona-based club team where all international athletes are playing and competing.

The Academy is formed by a group of 9 Spanish athletes playing in different local club teams mixed with a group of 9 athletes from abroad: 7 from the US, one from Mexico, and one from Romania. The coaching staff, led by our Sports Director Quim Colet, is made up of the usual coaches Ferran Pascual and Yuri Colet, and a new addition, Fran Torres.

Three of the athletes, all from the US, are doing the gap year program, aimed at players older than 18 looking for training and competition opportunities abroad. In the next months, other international athletes will join the Academy for a short program or the second semester, which will start in January.

BIWPAcademy 18/19 outside

Official photo of the athletes with the Academy hoodie (PFotoàlbums)

Services

Three new services that were added last season to the program have been extended to this season. The Academy athletes have a physical therapist coming over every Monday, as well as nutrition counseling and a mental coach.

Additionally, the coaches hold Watlicam sessions with small group of athletes once a week to focus on the individual technique and give personalized feedback to every player. 

Ambassadors

The Olympians Anni Espar and Adrià Delgado will be the two BIWPA brand ambassadors for season 19/20. The Spain’s national team player Espar will commit for third year in a row to the brand, while Delgado, one of the most decisive players of the Spanish league, has agreed to represent BIWPA’s values.

Additionally, the Academy will keep the masterclasses as a key part of the sports program. So far, Anni Espar and Felipe Perrone have joined a practice with our athletes.

CN Sant Feliu

This season the BIWPAcademy announced a partnership with CN Sant Feliu. All the international athletes train in the evening and compete in the local league with Sant Feliu, so it is easier for the BIWPA coaches to keep track of the international athletes’ progression.

 

Photo credit: Official photo with the athletes, coaches and part of the Academy staff (PFotoàlbums)

Agreement BIWPA-CNSF

As of season 2019/20, all the international athletes from the Academy will compete with the different age groups of CN Sant Feliu

The BIWPAcademy and Club Natació Sant Feliu (CNSF) have reached an agreement for all the Academy international athletes to compete and train with CN Sant Feliu. BIWPA’s Sports Director, Quim Colet, and the president of CNSF, Jorge del Ojo, have formalized the agreement a little less than a month to start the 2019/20 season in the Catalan water polo competition.

The Academy student athletes will continue training every morning with their own coaching staff and with all the international and local players, as usual, but their experience with a local club will be with CNSF, a club team located in the Barcelona area with more than 50 years of history.

The agreement represents a step forward in the sports growth of the Academy players, since it will make it easier to the coach to keep track of the individual improvement of each player with their club team. 

Quim Colet (BIWPA Sports Director) and Jorge del Ojo (CNSF President)

Quim Colet (BIWPA Sports Director) and Jorge del Ojo (CNSF President) | Photo credit: CNSF

Quim Colet think it’s a very positive agreement:

“We want to work together the youth categories with common objectives and with the beautiful combination between the local players of CNSF and the international ones that BIWPA can contribute. It is a personal as well as sports and technical enrichment for both parties and a way to internationalize the great work that is done with the clubs in Catalonia through CN Sant Feliu”.

Fran Torres, one of the new coaches of the Academy technical team, is also coaching different age groups at Sant Feliu and will be the perfect link between the morning training sessions at BIWPA and practices with the club in the afternoon.

The Academy players that will join CNSF will build up different age categories as the infantil (14u), cadet (16u), and juvenil B (18u). Additionally, as part of the agreement, BIWPA will sponsor the juvenil B (18u), which will be named BIWPA Academy/CN Sant Feliu B.

The relationship between BIWPA and CNSF is oriented mainly to work with the young athletes. Thus, BIWPA will encourage players from CN Sant Feliu to be part of combined teams to participate in international tournaments, such as the KAP7 Tournament in California, in which the BIWPAcademy has already participated once.

 

Cover photo: José Luis Fernández (CNSF Water polo chairperson), Jordi Blasco (CNSF Vice president) Quim Colet (BIWPA Sports Director), and Jorge del Ojo (CNSF President) | Photo credit: CNSF

Pau Vilar CAR

After two years at the BIWPA Academy, Pau Vilar enters the high performance center ‘CAR de Sant Cugat’ and will play both with the 18u team at Club Natació Barcelona and UE Horta senior team on the first national division. The goalkeeper won the Catalan and Spanish Championships in the 16u category this past season 18/19. Here are his thoughts after two years with the BIWPA sports program.

 

What were your goals when you entered the BIWPA program both academic and sports wise?

When I entered the BIWPA Academy, I wanted to improve a lot and get into the high performance center (CAR Sant Cugat). At the academic level I wanted to perform higher by getting better grades.

 

What memories do you have of the first classes and sessions, staff, classmates, teachers…?

I remember that the first day I was very nervous because I didn’t know anyone and I was afraid I didn’t get along with my classmates, but they are all very nice and we became friends quickly.

When I met the coaching staff the first day, I was surprised. There were many coaches and many people behind the program, all very nice and very friendly. And at school, from the beginning I was struck that the teachers were very flexible and knew our training schedules perfectly.

 

What are the hardest moments of the season and how did you overcome them?

This season I had a very hard time before starting 2019. I had a family problem and I did not feel like training, I did not want to go to class, I didn’t want to eat…

I got over it thanks to my colleagues who helped me a lot, took my mind off my problems and gave me a smile every day to move on. I love my coaches and all the BIWPA staff, they have been very helpful at all times during these two years and I liked that a lot.

 

What are your thoughts after your two-year experience at BIWPA?

At BIWPA I have been able to see the level of other countries as many foreign teams and players came to train. I have also been able to train two sessions per day and thanks to this I have greatly improved my sports performance. And the most important thing for me is that I have been able to make friends all over Spain and also outside of Spain.

The past summer I was also able to play the Junior Olympics in California the with Foothill. It was an unforgettable experience!

Do you think that being at BIWPA has also benefited you personally and academically, beyond sports?

Of course, thanks to the BIWPA program I have been able to see what water polo is and how it is the life of water polo players, coaches and the people surrounding this sport. I also had to become more disciplinate in order to go to practice every day and be ready at the pool at 7:45.

At the academic level I have improved and my level of English has risen thanks to the international players that come to Barcelona with the BIWPA program.

 

How has the work with BIWPA influenced your club?

Thanks to the work done with BIWPA I have been able to perform better with my club team, which has also made my teammates better. It has also made a difference during the competition games. I am now a better goalkeeper.

 

What is your balance both sports and academic in BIWPA, have you met your goals?

My time at BIWPA has been amazing. I have been able to achieve the objectives that I set for myself two years ago when I started the program: improve my level as a water polo player, enjoy more playing this sport, contribute to win the championships and tournaments with my club, and get into CAR. And any of this would have been possible without the work and sacrifice of all my colleagues and coaches, who have trusted me every day to get better.

 

Now you start at CAR next season. How do you face the challenge?

Entering the CAR is very difficult and very few people can achieve it. So I will try to enjoy it by giving the maximum at the practices and at school to continue growing both as an individual and as an athlete.

 

What are your future plans, academically and water polo?

At the academic level I want to get into to the university. Next year I will begin my last two years of high school studies with this objective. And next season is full of challenges: I will train at CAR Sant Cugat and play with the 18u team at CN Barcelona, ​​and also in the 1st National Division with the UE Horta. There’s a lot more to come!

BIWPA reaffirms its presence in the United States with a camp in Florida, clinics in California, the Junior Olympics and the arrival of USA Water Polo cadet teams in Barcelona

It is nothing new that the connection between BIWPA and the United States has been very strong since the very beginning of the project. Without going any further, the first athlete who joined the Academy led by Quim Colet was from the US.

Five years later, in the 18/19 season, the Academy has had a total of 15 American athletes. Seven of them have been in Barcelona for a minimum period of one semester and have been able to compete with a club team in the local club league.

In addition, in 2018, a combined team with local and international Academy athletes participated for the first time in one of the reference tournaments in California, the KAP7 International Tournament.

However, summer 2019 clearly represents a turning point in the presence of BIWPA in the US. Here are the four major activities that BIWPA has performed on American soil this summer:

WATER POLO CAMP IN FLORIDA

California takes up a great deal of the water polo in the US. That is why BIWPA wanted to bring its methodology and training in an area that is hungry for water polo. And the result has been outstanding. A two-week camp in Gainesville (Florida) with almost 140 athletes from 12 countries and eight US states.

The objective? To provide players between 12 and 18 years old with tools to improve their individual technique, focusing on the fundamentals and decision-making. The signature of the BIWPA coaching staff, combined with the good predisposition of the Gator Water Polo club, were the key to success.

Florida International Water Polo Camp 2019

Florida International Water Polo Camp 2019

CLINICS IN CALIFORNIA

With a similar philosophy as during the Florida camp, BIWPA coaches also gave several clinics throughout the California area. The California Clinics Tour spread the BIWPA methodology across La Jolla, San Diego, Los Altos, Walnut Creek and Commerce, with more than 100 athletes among all locations.

BIWPA Clinic (NORCAL)

BIWPA Clinic (NORCAL)

FIFTH YEAR AT JO’s

For five times in a row, Barcelona Water Polo Academy attended the world’s largest water polo tournament. With a booth located in the central pool, the Woollett Aquatics Center, BIWPA promoted its team training camps, camps, tournaments and, more importantly, its core program, the Academy. A unique opportunity for high schoolers to study and play water polo in Barcelona.

A total of 860 teams of all age groups participated for eight days in the Junior Olympics organized by USAWP.

BIWPA booth at JO's 2019

BIWPA booth at JO’s 2019

THE USAWP ODP, IN BARCELONA

For the first time ever, the USAWP Olympic Development Program is coming to Barcelona. The ODP is program to identifying and developing athletes to represent USAWP in domestic and international competition.

The so-called “Futures”, the Men’s and Women’s Cadet National Teams will train and compete with two combined BIWPA teams. They will do it in an Olympic facility such as the Montjuïc Municipal Pool from August 4 to 11.

USA Water Polo ODP (Global Wave Inc)

USA Water Polo ODP (Photo credit: Global Wave Inc)

Jordi Gascón

After 2 years at the BIWPA Academy, Jordi Gascón (16 years, Club Natació Catalunya) is now studying and training at the high performance center CAR de Sant Cugat. The young player, already for the senior team of CN Catalunya, talks about his experience at the Academy and how it helped him to achieve his goals, such as being called-up for the most important talent factory of water polo in Spain.

What were your goals when you chose BIWPA, both academic and sports wise?

When I started at the Academy my main goal was to qualify for the Catalan Championships, where we finished in second place. It was a complete success! And the truth is that we did not expect it at all. On the other hand, academically at that time I did not have very specific goals since at that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to study.

What memories do you have from the first classes and practices (staff, colleagues, professors…)

I remember that after finishing the first training session I was exhausted. The pace of work is very intense. There is a great water polo atmosphere, the coaches are very experienced and they pointed out our main defects and helped us to improve them. At school, in the beginning I remember that we were all very happy but a little nervous at the same time, as the colleagues, the facility and teachers were new to us.

What were the toughest moments of the season? How did you get over them and what moments / details do you remember of your time at the Academy?

For me the most difficult moments were those training sessions where we only swam, since personally I find this type of training more difficult, although in the end, as they were repeated every week, I got used to it. Also, when we had games on the weekend, thanks to those practices, I felt stronger and with more resistance. One of the good things about BIWPA is that it allows you to meet water polo stars and sometimes they come to the pool with us to do a masterclass. We learned a lot from them in a very short time.

How has working with BIWPA influenced the performances with your club?

It has helped me in several aspects. On the one hand, I learned how to do a good warm-up before a game, like the band workout to prevent injuries and, above all, I have been able to improve my technique a lot and I endure much more the pace of a game.

What are your final thoughts on your experience at the Academy?

I think the experience has been very positive and helpful, because at BIWPA I have become a better player. The short-term objectives have been met, so I’m very satisfied!

 Inés Gómez

Colet replaces ‘Chava’ Gómez as the men’s coach

Club Natació Sabadell has officially announced Quim Colet as the new coach of Club Natació Sabadell’s senior team. Colet has cancelled his three-month stay in the USA and will be flying back to Barcelona next week. He will remain as the BIWPA Academy’s Sports Director.

CN Sabadell is one of the most important teams in Spain’s Honor Division and it is also one of the Catalan sports organizations with more members -roughly 25.000. The club played the LEN Champions League preliminary round last term. The signs of fatigue in the current cicle and a bad start to the new season have triggered the arrival of a new coach.

Quim Colet has played an important role in establishing the foundations of the current water polo system in Spain, which has become a model of success. Until 2016, he was the technical director of the Catalan Swimming Federation. Quim has already been in charge of Spanish water polo teams in the Honor Division, coaching CN Barcelona, CN Atlètic-Barceloneta and CE Mediterrani, among others.

He has also been part of the technical staff of the senior men’s national team of Spain for many years, having participated in two Olympic Games. Additionally, he was the coach of the Spanish men’s junior national team, clinching three medals in World Championships, one of which, a gold medal in Los Angeles 91′.

The water polo Academy based in Barcelona and led by Quim Colet has started the new season with record-breaking numbers, more international athletes than ever, and brand new services

Water polo season 2018-19 is underway in Barcelona and many of the Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) athletes made their debuts last weekend with their respective teams. The fifth year of the Academy and the number of athletes, both international and locals, has never been so high before.

There are currently 22 water polo players at the Academy, with nearly 50% being from outside of Spain. 11 of the 13 Spanish athletes are Catalans, while two of them have come from different parts of Spain (Coruña and Madrid). On the other hand, up to nine athletes from different parts of the world have joined the Academy. Three of them are from the USA, while the rest are from Malta, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Mexico and Peru.

One of the main advantages of the Academy sports program is the flexibility. Athletes can choose how long will their stay in Barcelona last. While some stay the whole Academic year, others opt for a short program or a semester. It is the case of Clodagh Weir from New Zealand who will be in Barcelona for two months, from November until December. But most of the incoming athletes will arrive in January. It is the case of Hannah, Ethan, Wyatt, Ryder, Mikey and Easton, all from the USA.

Brand new: Nutrition, physiotherapy and mental coach

As the Academy grows, so do the services that BIWPA provides. There are three new services that the technical staff has decided to incorporate into the day-to-day routine at the Academy. All the international athletes will now have guidance on their eating habits and behaviors. They will also have available a physiotherapy service and a mental coach to help improve the athlete’s mental readiness, focus, ability to relax, energy and emotional control, as well as other mental factors involved in training and performance.

Anni Espar, our ambassador

The two-time Olympian Anni Espar, silver medal in London 2012, World Championships winner in Barcelona 2013 and three-time Champions League winner with CN Sabadell will come to the Academy to give masterclasses on a regular basis. Anni joined the first practice last week and has been collaborating with BIWPA in other activities for several years.

KAP 7 International Tournament

BIWPA’s men’s under 18 team is off to the USA to compete in the KAP 7 International Tournament, in Southern California.

 

One of the most prestigious water polo tournaments in the USA, the KAP 7 International Tournament, will welcome for the first time a team from Spain. The event is aimed at teams from 10U to 18U and will be hosted by Irvine Water Polo Club (Kahuna). On its 9th edition, it will be held from February 10th to the 11th.

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy will travel to the USA with a team formed both by players from the Academy and other players from several Catalan and Spanish clubs, as well as some international teams. BIWPA’s presence in the USA has been usual during the previous years, but it will be the first time that BIWPA takes part with a team in a water polo event based in the USA.

The Academy has attended the Junior Olympics three times to share information about the water polo program in Barcelona, Spain. Last summer 2017 was the first time BIWPA organized an on-site activity in the USA, which consisted of two clinics in two different locations: Cathedral Catholic High School and Helix Charter High School, both in California.

Apart from the two days that the KAP 7 Tournament will last, the BIWPA team have several activities scheduled. They will have morning practices at Long Beach State University, whereas in the afternoon they will take part in scrimmages with four different clubs: Vanguard Aquatics, Socal Water Polo, SET Water Polo and Long Beach Shore Aquatics. The BIWPA Academy team, which will be coached by Quim Colet, Yuri Colet, Ferran Pascual and Dani Gómez, will spend nine days in the United States, from February 4th to the 12th.

In parallel to the KAP 7 International Tournament, the team based in Barcelona, Spain, will have the chance to experience other kind of activities outside of the water polo sphere. Since they will be in California, they will also have the chance to visit the awesome Universal Studios and attend an NBA game at the Staples Center between LA Lakers and Oklahoma.

KAP 7 International Tournament

 

Below is a list of the players and coaches that are part of the expedition:

  • Eric Domínguez, CN Molins de Rei and BIWPA Academy
  • Jordi Gascón, CN Catalunya and BIWPA Academy
  • Víctor Andrade, CN Molins de Rei and BIWPA Academy
  • Álvaro Alcaide, CN Montjuic and BIWPA Academy
  • Eugeni Sales, CN Poble Nou and BIWPA Academy
  • Miquel Navarro, CN Sant Feliu and BIWPA Academy
  • Miquel Martín, CN Rubí BIWPA. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Vouliagmeni tournament
  • Miguel A. Suárez, CW Marbella. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Novaky tournament
  • Frederic Vaquer, Campusesport. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Novaky tournament
  • Joel Galindo, CN Ciudad de Alcorcón. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Aarón García, CN Jerez. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Yoshi Saito, North Harbour WP. He was part of the BIWPA team that participated in the Turbo Cup
  • Biel Segura, CN Terrassa
  • Pol Prat, CN Molins de Rei

Technical Staff BIWPA:

  • Quim Colet
  • Ferran Pascual
  • Yuri Colet

Technical Support:

  • Dani Gómez (CN Rubí)
Winter Academy January 2018

The Winter Academy is launched as an opportunity for external water polo players to experience the BIWPA Academy day-to-day

 

The BIWPA water polo academy runs from September to June. That is, ten months during which the athletes participate in a program of high-level training, focused on the technical, tactical and physical aspects. But now, a new concept called Winter Academy has popped up.

But the Academy is not just an exclusive experience for internal students. BIWPA also offers the possibility of registering for intensive short programs at the Academy. Through this program, athletes can live the day-to-day of the Academy, with two sessions of daily training and complementary activities, combined with free hours such as tourism or language classes.

Winter Academy 2018, the first of many

The Waterpolo Askartza (Basque Country) technical director, Javi Cortés, and six players from the 16 and under team, have already enjoyed this experience. The seven members of Askartza took part in the Winter Academy 2018, a program that took place during the first week of the year 2018.

The experience consisted of four intense days of training, with more than 6 hours a day of practices at the facilities of the high performance center ‘CAR de Sant Cugat‘. Almost 30 players from both the BIWPA academy and several Catalan and Spanish clubs participated in the Winter Academy. Unlike the camps, the short program consists of high-level training and maximum demand, with the best coaches team led by Quim Colet and also formed by Ferran Pascual, Yuri Colet and Sergi Clols as the physical trainer.

In addition, the athletes also get the chance to correct their body positioning and egg beater with the Walitcam, a high-tech underwater camera that allows the coaches to see above and underneath the water surface.

Besides to the Winter Academy, BIWPA also offers this program during other times of the year, such as the Summer Academy during the month of June. In addition, throughout the ten months that the Academy runs, it is possible to enroll in short programs.