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Aerial image of Palamós beach (Girona), during the 2nd edition of the Beach Water Polo. 

A successful 2018 has come to an end for BIWPA, which has entered 2019 as the year of its fifth anniversary. In 2018, BIWPA organized a total of 3 campuses in 4 weeks (one in Easter and another three in summer), three events and 15 team training camps. Additioanally, 45 athletes were enrolled in the Academy during the last season. In the paragraphs below we go over the figures, teams and nationalities.

Academy (17-18)

A total of 45 athletes took part in the BIWPA Academy in the 2017-18 season, from September 2017 to June 2018. Out of these 45, 23 participated in the annual program, while the rest, 22, took part in the short program, which allows athletes to experience the Academy for a limited time (during a week, a month or even a semester). Although most athletes were local, up to 14 water polo players came from the United States. In total, we had athletes from 11 different nationalities.

Campus

As usual in recent years, this 2018 we held three water polo camps. During Easter time we were in the CAR Sant Cugat, the high performance center where the best athletes in the country train. On this campus we had a very special guest, the international Spanish water polo player Albert Español. 24 players from eight different countries participated in this first week of camp.

A few months later we moved to Club Natació Barcelona (CNB), ​​one of the best sports clubs in the country, for our summer camps. We spent two weeks in the CNB and one in CAR, between June and July. Throughout these three weeks we had 114 participants from 25 different countries. Up to 69 campers took part in the two weeks of the CNB summer camp, representing 14 different nationalities from three continents: Europe, America and Oceania.

The summer camp at CAR welcomed 45 campers in a single week, coming from 14 countries in Europe and America. All the participants had the chance to see the European water polo championships live from Barcelona.

In total, our camps in 2018 received 138 participants from 26 different countries. At the 2019 Easter Camp (April 14-20) we will celebrate our fifth anniversary, with several surprises to be revealed and the registration still open.

Team Training Camps

2018 has also been a great year in terms of the organization of team training camps. Here are the 14 teams that participated in the 15 team camps organized in 2018: Uralochka (Russia), Widex GZC Donk (Netherlands) twice, Water Polo Canada, SK Neptun (Sweden), La Morinda (USA), Cuba men’s national team, Portugal men’s national team, Torino (Italy), 680 Drivers (USA), Rose Bowl (USA), Ontario (Canada), Commerce (USA), Falu Vattenpolo (Sweden), Christ Church Grammar School (Australia). This means an approximate number of 250 athletes from 9 different countries.

Events

This past year has been very positive also in the tournament section. BIWPA organized its two reference events, improving the numbers of the past editions in both cases. The second edition of the Beach Water Polo Costa Brava in Palamós (August 31 – September 2) grew from 16 teams to 26 teams from seven countries. The Macros team, a combination of active players and former players of Club Natació Barcelona, ​​was proclaimed champion of the Beach Polo, which brought together a total of 300 athletes. Top division players such as Edu Lorrio, Víctor Flores, Adrià Delgado or Roc Ferrer participated in the event, as well as the stars of the Spain Men’s national team Fran Fernández and Alberto Munarriz.

Only four days after Palamós, we kicked off the third edition of the Barcelona International Turbo Cup, an international tournament held at the Montjuic Olympic Pool. 16 teams in the male 18U category and four in the senior women’s category took part, approximately 250 athletes from five different countries. CN Barcelona Vista in the men’s competition and CN Sant Feliu in the women’s competition were the champions of the Turbo Cup.

HaBaWaBa Spain

As a new event this year, BIWPA organized the first edition of the HaBaWaBa Spain – RFEN, held in Barcelona alongside the 33rd European Championships. The top tournament for youth ages worldwide was a success in its first edition in Spain, with the participation of 44 teams from nine countries and more than 600 water polo players.

Players of Spain men’s and women’s national teams have posed in a fundraising calendar for the NGO Proactiva Open Arms

The BIWPA water polo academy, in collaboration with PFotoàlbums, have launched a charity project to help the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, one of the most active organizations in the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a 2019 solidary calendar starring stars of Spain men’s and women’s teams.

Cristina Marín, BIWPA’s general manager, is very satisfied with the project: “It is something that we had in mind for a long time and we would definitely like to continue with more solidarity initiatives in the next years”. According to Proactiva Open Arms, “it is thanks to initiatives like this that we have been able to rescue almost 60,000 people in the three years we have been operating in the Aegean Sea and the Central Mediterranean”.

Daniel López Pinedo (CNAB), named best goalkeeper in the last European Championships, didn’t have to think it twice when he had the opportunity to get involved with the calendar: “We did not even think for a second to participate with the calendar”. On the other hand, La Sirena CN Mataró player Marta Bach says she is very proud to do her bit to help all those people who risk their life in search of a better future. “With this calendar, we want to claim that water should be a place to smile, have fun and not lose your life”.

The photo sessions took place in two different places in Barcelona, ​​ water as the link between the NGO Open Arms and water polo. On the one hand, the iconic Municipal Pool of Montjuïc, former venue of the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games. On the other hand, the Barceloneta Beach, which allows us to be as close as possible to the drama of the refugees.

The price of the calendar is 10€ and all the proceeds will go to Proactiva Open Arms. You can purchase the calendar on this link.

16 players from six different Spanish teams (CN Sabadell, CN Atlètic-Barceloneta, CN Mataró, CE Mediterrani, CN Sant Andreu, CN Barcelona) have collaborated with the project. Here is the list: Adrià Delgado, Alberto Munárriz, Álvaro Granados, Anna Gual, Anni Espar, Clara Espar, Dani López Pinedo, Edu Lorrio, Fran Fernández, Helena Lloret, Mª Elena Sánchez, Marta Bach, Mati Ortiz, Miguel de Toro, Paula Leitón and Víctor Flores.

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 Spain men and women’s senior, junior and youth water polo national teams have been awarded with six medals this summer.

 

Spanish water polo has experienced the most successful summer in its history. Although we were already used to the women’s national team achieving great successes, such as the silver medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games, the gold in the 2013 Barcelona World Championships or, more recently, the silver medal in the Budapest World Championships 2017, this year the men’s team have stepped up with a historic silver at the Europeans in Barcelona. Six teams, three different cateogories and six medals. That’s what we could call a strike.

Since David Martín became the new coach for the men’s national team after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, he said the goal was to be in full form for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He wanted to shape a team with a long term objective, but before the Olympics they had to face the Europeans in Barcelona. After a disappointing ninth place in the last 2017 Budapest World Championships, Martín opted to renew the team and incorporated a group of young players who have  led a necessary generational change. Figures such as Álvaro Granados, Roger Tahull and Álex Bustos have taken a step forward and have become key players for the team.

Javier Sánchez Toril’s youth team got the silver in the World Championships that took place in Szombathely (Hungary), while the juniors, with Tato Garcia in charge, took the bronze in the European Championships.

The women’s teams didn’t fell short either. After falling in the semifinals against Greece, the senior team clinched the bronze at the Europeans at home. The girls of Miki Oca never get tired of winning metals. In lower categories, both the youth team in the World Championships, and the junior in the Europeans, took the gold medals in their respective competitions.

The result of many years efforts

As stated by the Royal Spanish Federation in La Vanguardia, this great harvest of medals is not the result of the emergence of large generations of athletes or coaches of the highest level. “It is the work of more than eight years and with many people behind”: Figures such as Gaspar Ventura, who was responsible for the water polo area until two years ago, or Quim Colet, former technical director of the Catalan Swimming Federation and current sports director of BIWPA.

It is also a success of the technification centers where all young talents are trained and prepared so that they can one day compete with the senior team. Obviously, when we talk about high-performance centers, the CAR of Sant Cugat is the crown Jewel. Located on the outskirts of Barcelona, ​​the high performance center has become the best Spanish water polo talent factory.

 

Photo: WP2018BCN

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

More than 600 kids and 44 teams from 9 countries met at the Montjuïc Olympic Pool (Barcelona)

After 11 editions in Italy, three in Greece and other four in North America, it was Spain and Barcelona’s turn, with a very special first edition. The first HaBaWaBa Spain arrived in Barcelona running alongside the 33rd European Water Polo Championships.

During four days, the Montjuïc Municipal Pool became the festival’s splendid venue. The Royal Swimming Spanish Federation (RFEN) trusted Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) for the organization of the event, which gathered 44 teams -36 U12 and 8 U10- from 9 different nationalities. Among the 44 teams, 27 where Spanish. Italy, Hungary, Malta, The Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, France and Egypt were the other countries represented.

BIWPA was up to a festival that goes far beyond the competition and the results. As indicated by its acronym (Happy Baby Water Ball), the HaBaWaBa is a unique experience for all participants with water polo, fun and learning.

More than 600 young players had four amazing days of water polo and fun, with animation activities, fair play workshops and exciting matches at the Europeans. The Hungary-Italy (5-12), the Montenegro-Spain (7-7) in the men’s competition, or the Greece-Holland (7-8) and the Spain-Russia (12-11) in women’s were some of the best.

From July 18th to 21st , the stands at the Bernat Picornell pools were full of HaBaWaBa kids. Between 300 and 400 participants dropped by the Europeans venue and proved that passion for water polo is more alive than ever.

In the Village area at the Europeans, before the matches, HaBaWaBa’s mascot Rock & Pop and Barcelona 2018’s mascot Wopit were waiting for the kids to make the wait more pleasant with some music and dancing. Of course, Katy Perry’s Swish Swish was the top hit.

The former centre-forward Iván Pérez and former Spain Women’s national team player Laura López were the two HaBaWaBa Spain ambassadors. The legend Ratko Rudic didn’t miss the event either. But the best surprise for all participants was the visit of Spain Men and Women’s national teams. The current silver and bronze medallists took hundreds of pictures and signed autographs for the HaBaWaBa kids.

Hegemony for CNB

Quim Colet, one of the important figures of the water polo model in Spain, led the organization of the competition, in which Club Natació Barcelona (Spain) claimed first place in both categories, U10 and U12. In the U10 tournament, CN Barcelona beat UE Horta ‘Taurons’ (Spain) at the final (6-5), while CN Poble Nou (Spain) finished in third place.

In the U12 category, teams were divided into three different divisions (Bronze, Silver and Gold) after the first stage, so nine teams won an award. CN Barcelona, Posillipo ‘Coccodrilli’ (Italy) and KSI ‘Blue Sharks’ from Budapest reached the podium in this order.

In the Silver Division, YBL Waterpolo Club (Hungary) finished in first place, followed by CN Rubí and Askartza Claret from Spain. Aquatica Torino (Italy) beat Pallanuoto Salerno (Italy) in the Bronze Division final, while CN Helios (Spain) were third.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2019

The Spanish Swimming Federation has congratulated BIWPA on the organization of the HaBaWaBa Spain and they are already in talks to decide place and dates for next year’s edition.

 

Some pictures from the festival, by Pfotoàlbums (more here):

Summer Academy Cover

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) gives the chance to water polo players to travel to Barcelona, Spain, and participate in an intensive training water polo program. The Academy based in Barcelona welcomes all water polo athletes from 14 to 18 that wish to improve prior to the Junior Olympics -in the case of American players- or just have an extra training before summer vacation.

BIWPA has officially announced its first Summer Academy Program, an extension of the Academy’s annual program. It will take place during June in Barcelona offering athletes the opportunity to register for one, two, three weeks or even the full month.

BIWPA feels that this program ensures the importance of the Academy program and gives the opportunity for inspiring athletes to take part in this experience. Athletes will be able to experience what it is like to work in an intense high-level program directed by the Academy director, Quim Colet, former coach for the Spain men’s national team in two Olympic games.  

Barcelona, one of the epicenters of water polo

Another added value to the experience is the city where it will be held. Barcelona is one of the cities with more water polo teams in Europe. Besides this, June is one of the best months to be in the city: Sun, beach and lots of fun activities to do. The Summer Academy athletes, apart from training twice a day and living the day-to-day with the current athletes, will also take part in tourism activities.  

This opportunity is not only a chance to train in a whole new environment, but is also an opportunity to immerse one’s self in a new culture and learn a new language.

Summer Academy

Other US athletes at BIWPA

The American athletes that travel to Barcelona in June will have the chance to meet other US athletes: Mark Laurlund, Skyler Knoflick and Adam Van Uden, all from CC United, who will help them adjust to the life at the Academy. Besides these three, a former Academy athlete Gavin West, from Greenwich Aquatics, will come back in June for the full month. West made the top 20 cut for the US cadet team after spending one semester in Barcelona. And there’s still another US athlete, Alison Doherty, who is on her third year in Barcelona.

 

Check out the interviews to some of the athletes on BIWPA’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/biwpa/videos

Here is the Summer Academy PDF: http://www.biwpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/summer_academy.pdf

BIWPA Waterpolo Camp CNB

Here you have four reasons why you should encourage your children to play water polo

 

For many years now water aquatic sports like swimming have been known to be a great sport for one’s health. For those who would rather play with more teammates, water polo is the best option. Water polo has such a positive impact on kids and they learn discipline, time management, positives of a healthy lifestyle, teamwork, social skills and cultural exchange.

 

Discipline

Water polo has an emphasis on discipline and time management. At a young age kids who play water polo have to devote many hours practicing and each week requires players to stay focused and learn how to compromise and manage time properly. Most of our players are still in school and the discipline taught while playing water polo helps them manage their time an helps them learn time management skills and discipline that will used for the rest of their lives.

Waterpolo Discipline

In shape

Like swimming, water polo helps kids stay in shape and most water polo players develop very healthy eating habits. Swimming has been known to be one of the best sports to practice due to its positive impact on swimmers health. Very few sports in the world requires full body motion that promotes a healthy body and a upright posture. Not only will the kids improve their posture and stay fit they will also develop better lungs after training and swimming. Water polo players will also learn about the importance of nutrition and how a healthy diet will benefit them in the pool.

 

Team work

While playing water polo, players learn the importance of team work and fair play. Team work is a very important factor of water polo and water polo focuses on working with others. Fair play is another fundamental concept learned while playing water polo. Just like most sports water polo players are taught to never be malicious or harm anyone on purpose, it’s a sport that is meant to be completive, but not dangerous, and be fun. No matter where you play water polo or how old the players are, water polo has a very positive impact on kids social skills and communication skills. Team sports are great ways of making new friends and working with others. In a team kids will learn to trust and work alongside other teammates. Learning these skills at a young age will go a long way in the future. Kids will learn discipline, fair play, dedication and resilience by playing water polo.

Since its not one of the mainstream sports, players create strong bonds with the sport, their teammates, rivals and team. Players will meet everyone in the league and make so many friends and water polo makes a very friendly rivalries.

Waterpolo Team Work

Multiculturality with BIWPA

Playing water polo internationally is a great way of meeting other players from all over the world. In today’s world cultures are so intertwined and having very important intercultural skills and accepting other customs is so important. At BIWPA kids from all over the world come together to play water polo. The mix of cultures is so important for kids and learning about other cultures and accepting differences is so important at a young age. We have an international water polo academy where American athletes can improve their skills in order to apply for college. We also organize team training camps for teams from different parts of the world, so they can experience water polo in Spain. And we have water polo camps where kids can share their passion for the sport and meet people from other countries.

 

At BIWPA, we believe that the skills learned while playing water polo isn’t only applied at the pools or while playing, but in so many other situations. Kids will not forget what they learned while playing water polo.

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)
Team Training Camps

Up to 18 teams (in 16 different training camps) chose BIWPA and Barcelona to carry out customized water polo camps in 2017, also known as ‘team training camps‘. But the number of teams is not the only thing that stands out. More than ten countries had a presence in last year’s team camps.

This eagerness to go abroad and attract teams from all over the world to Barcelona –one of the epicenters of global water polo–, is one of the aspects that BIWPA strives for day by day. And the number of team training camps organized in 2017 perfectly reflects this international focus to which the International Academy is committed.

The United States, with four teams, has been the country with the most significant presence, followed by Holland with two and Belgium, also with two. The rest of the teams have been from a different country each, with the important presence of countries as varied as the Philippines, New Zealand or Canada.

Although this is a program specifically designed for tailor-made training, it goes beyond what is strictly water polo. BIWPA offers well-rounded experience that combines personalized training, scrimmages with local teams, as well as the possibility to enjoy tourism and gastronomy in an unbeatable setting like Barcelona.

Right below, there’s a recap of the team training camps of 2017. BIWPA closed 2017 with a total of 16 team training camps, 18 teams and 11 different countries.

The ‘team training camps’ of 2017, in images

INDESCAT

INDESCAT selected BIWPA as a finalist in the internationalization category

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy has been doing a great job toward the international impact of the company. This great job was finally recognized in the 5th edition of the Business and Sports Awards. INDESCAT, the Catalan cluster of the sports industry, awarded prizes in four different categories: entrepreneurship, partnership, innovation and internationalization.

The awards were delivered at the Barcelona School of Business of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), with roughly 180 people from the sports, business and institutional sectors. It is the first time that BIWPA has a presence at the event organized by INDESCAT, which is a clear sign of the expansion and growth that the company has experienced throughout its almost four years of existence. The clear vocation of BIWPA to reach an international audience has been reflected in the large number of nationalities and foreign clubs that have taken part in its activities.

A clear example of BIWPA’s international presence is the Academy, which year after year has been increasing both the number of athletes and the diversity of their nationalities. The United States is the country that provides more participants, though there are also water polo players coming from other countries such as Brazil, New Zealand or Scotland. At the same time, the Academy team has been participating in the Chatzitheodorou international tournament in Vouliagmeni (Greece) for two years and will move to the USA in February to play the Kap7 Tournament.

It is precisely in the North America where BIWPA has a great influence. American colleges and high schools such as UC Davis, CC United, Los Altos or Foothill have come to Barcelona to participate in team training camps. In addition, BIWPA has organized clinics in California and has been present in the Junior Olympics, the largest age group water polo tournament in the USA.

Camps and tournaments, also with an international vocation

Camps are also one of the projects with foreign participation. Whether it’s winter, Easter or summer, BIWPA organizes camps in the best facilities of Barcelona such as the high performance center CAR de Sant Cugat or Club Natació Barcelona. More than 70% of the participating boys and girls on camps come from other countries.

Also in the tournaments BIWPA attracts foreign teams. Teams from countries such as Italy, Hungary, France, Russia, the United States, England, Holland and, of course, the rest of Spain have participated in both the Barcelona International Turbo Cup and Beach Water Polo in Palamós.

 

This is the video with which BIWPA was presented to the INDESCAT awards:

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