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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:

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

The participants of HaBaWaBa Spain will have the chance to attend the European Championships for free

 

Can you imagine taking part in the flagship water polo tournament for children aged 6 to 12 in the context of the European Water Polo Championships? Coincidences exist and Barcelona is the city where they will become a reality. HaBaWaBa Spain 2018 arrives with force in its first edition in Barcelona, ​​which will extend from July 17th through July 22nd.

After 10 successful editions in Italy and several more in Greece and North America, it is now the turn for Spain. The tournament 10U and 12U will coincide with the celebration of the first phase of the 33rd European LEN European Water Polo Championships, unifying the two events in two of the most iconic pools in Barcelona, ​​located at the magical mountain of Montjuïc .

The Municipal Olympic pool will host HaBaWaBa Spain, while the stars of the European national teams will play in the Bernat Picornell pool. The two locations are just 10 minutes away and connected by the same goal: stirring up passions among water polo fans of all kinds, regardless of their age, level or origin.

The venue for the 12U children’s tournament, inaugurated for the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games, has impressive stands, two pools that can hold up to 5 games at once and unique views of the city’s skyline. In addition, the young participants, upon registration, will have access to the European Championships.

The competition will last 4 days during which 420 games will be played. For this first edition in Barcelona, ​​the prospective aspirations are high: 64 teams, countries from all over the world, 832 children and more than 1,000 attendees are expected. On the other hand, 8 men’s national teams and 6 women’s national teams are already qualified for the European Championships. The rest of the teams, until reaching 16 and 12 respectively, will be decided in the Pre-Europeans that will begin in February 2018.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018

The well-known water polo festival for kids HaBaWaBa will be hosted in Barcelona in July 2018, at the Olympic Montjuïc Municipal Pool

A couple of months ago, Waterpolo Development, the association that owns the HaBaWaBa brand, and the Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN), came to a collaboration agreement to bring the HaBaWaBa festival to Spain. Both parties formed this partnership with a clear objective: the promotion of water polo in Spain at the earliest ages. In addition, the RFEN wants to turn Barcelona into the epicenter of European water polo during the 2018 summer.

The 33rd LEN European Championships will take place at the Picornell Olympic Pool and HaBaWaBa, the most well-known water polo festival for 10U and 12U kids, will be located very close at the same Montjuïc Mountain. The two events will happen simultaneously, which will increase the number of people present in both pools.

In order to make this project come true, the RFEN and Waterpolo Development have trusted in Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) for the planning and organization of it. HaBaWaBa is one of the water polo tournaments for kids with more visibility and scalability in the world.

BIWPA was founded in 2014 as a project of excellence and quality to form young water polo players at all athletic, human and intellectual levels. Nowadays, it is much more than that. BIWPA has also organized training camps for teams all over the world, camps for kids and tournaments. The company is already working closely with the Organizing Comittee of the European Championships to make HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018 a great success and a potential precedent for future editions of the festival across Spain.

After having been organized a multiple times in Greece and Montreal, the festival born in Italy arrives to Barcelona with a unique edition that has big expectations. In fact, there are plenty of reasons that lead us to think that it will be a complete success.

Both swimming pools are conveniently located at the Montjuic mountain, which will facilitate the attendance to both events. In addition, Barcelona is one of the cities that attracts more tourists in the world. Finally, the brand HaBaWaBa is one of the most powerful and consolidated in the water polo world, and it is growing more and more every year: 132 teams took part in the last edition of the festival in Italy.

 

HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018

Left to right: Felipe Perrone, Bea Ortiz, Cristina Marín (BIWPA), Àngel Moliner (WP2018BCN), Clara Espar, Anni Espar, Enric Bertrán (president Catalan Swimming Federation), and Daniel López Pinedo, supporting HaBaWaBa Barcelona from Beach Polo Palamos.

18 teams, 4 countries and 4 days of non-stop water polo in an Olympic facility with a view of Barcelona

The iconic Montjuïc municipal swimming pool hosted for second year the 2nd edition of the Barcelona International Turbo Cup, a great setting where youths can show all their potential in water polo. Local teams, as well as other European teams coming from England, Italy, and Hungary participated in a tournament that comes in very handy to get ready for the start of the season. Besides, three teams with players from different parts of the world took part in the Turbo Cup as BIWPA teams. One of the main attractions of this year’s edition was the women’s category, with 6 teams.

Ferencvaros TC repeated as winners for second time. In the final, they faced Club Natació Barcelona, a squad diminished by the dropouts of players with commitments with the national team. CNB was able to defeat Ferencvaros TC before the final by 4-8, in a match marked by the harshness of the Hungarian team.

BIWPA TURBO CUP-723

CN Sant Feliu and Exeter WP, 1st and 2nd place / PFotoàlbums

In the final, the final outcome was different and CNB paid for the lack of substitutes. The Catalan team played the whole tournament with 1 and 2 changes. In the final, it had to play more than one quarter with only one change. The Catalans ended up succumbing to the Hungarians, who clinched the final by 9-8. BIWPA Yellow team formed by members of several campus organized by BIWPA, beat NC Monza by 7-8, with a last-minute goal, and finished in 3rd place.

In the female category, Exeter Water Polo played an immaculate tournament, without conceding a single point on the way to the final. However, CN Sant Feliu managed to beat the English team in the penalty shootout, after a thrilling game and an endless series of penalties. In the end, 10 (15) – 10 (16) for Sant Feliu. In the bronze match, CN Catalunya defeated Dunaujvaros FVE (9-11), after having previously lost against the Hungarians (10-7). Dunaujvaros ended in a very meritorious 4th place, taking into account that they had some players of 10 years old.

Two players from CNB, regardless of losing the final, were awarded MVP and best goalkeeper of the tournament: the leftie Guillem Frigola and Unai Aguirre. As for the women’s category, Exeter’s goalkeeper Sophie Jackson was named best goalie, while Nadia Fernández, CN Sant Feliu player, was awarded the MVP trophy.

The countdown to the 3rd Turbo Cup has already started. Stay tuned!

Link to pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/biwpa/albums/72157686645210734

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