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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)

Alejandra Aznar USC

After clinching gold and the MVP trophy at the European Youth Water Polo Championships with the Spanish national team, Alejandra Aznar moved to the United States in the 2018-19 season. The young and talented leftie (2000) is one of the great hopes of the future and present of the Spain’s senior team.

In the current Academic year, Aznar has played for one of the top universities on the West Coast of the United States, USC Los Angeles. She finished runner-up in the women’s water polo national championship and also with her club team in Spain, CN Sant Andreu.

 

How has your experience been in the United States?

I have learned a lot. Living far from home and alone, with a different language and country is not easy… In terms of water polo, there are many different things in comparison to Spain.

 

Why did you decide to take your first college year in California?

The truth is that juggling academics and water polo is very easy in the US. Playing and studying in the same place makes it very convenient. Also, when I finished high school in Barcelona I wanted to start a new experience far from home, and now that I’m young I think it’s the best moment.

 

How would you rate this year in the US together with your teammate in Sant Andreu, Mireia Guiral?

She is my best friend and the truth is that things have been much easier with her, because I knew I could count on her in case there were bad moments. Even though I never had to face any tough time, it was always good to have her at home after training on when I needed a break.

 

The next season is prior to the Toquio Olympic Games … Will you stay in USC or home?

Next year I will continue with my club team in Barcelona, CN Sant Andreu. Next year there will be many calls-up and trainings with the national team in preparation for the Olympic Games, that’s why I think I really need to be home.

 

What is your main objective at the sports level for the season 19-20?

Being able to make it for the last calls-up with the national team and take advantage of these practices to learn and improve.

 

How do you see the Spanish team? Do you see yourself with possibilities to enter the team and maybe go to the Olympic Games?

It’s very difficult and on top of that they have reduced the number of players permitted in the squad. It is still early to draw conclusions, but what I can assure is that I will train the hardest I can to make it until the last trainings.

 

Do you plan to return to the United States at some point during your college period?

I think this is something I have in my mind. The truth is that I adjusted quite well to the California lifestyle and I like pretty much everything about living in the US.

 

How different is American water polo compared to Spain?

In the US everything is very planned and marked, all teams do a lot tactical work, specially where I’ve played (USC). Referees call kickouts very easily in the center position, so you have to be very focused in the defence. I also think there’s more contact here when playing.

 

In what aspects do you think you stand out more than other local players due to the fact that you have trained in one of the water polo capitals of the world?

I think that technique is the most important skill that I have practiced since I started playing water polo, both in my club teams in Barcelona and also in the high performance center CAR Sant Cugat. I think that’s not something in the US people focus on that much.

 

Undoubtedly, Spain is one of the top countries in women’s water polo. Still, the United States team seems unbeatable. Why do you think that happens?

I think they are physically ahead of the rest of the teams. I also think that they have very good technique, but I believe the physical aspect is what makes the difference.

 

What would you highlight the most about how to train and play in California?

As I said, teams prepare a lot every game. When I arrived, they gave me a folder to write down the plays and the planning of each game. During the week you already know what plays we will do in each quarter and how we will defend in the weekend game.

Florida Water Polo Camp

The Florida International Water Polo Camp will take place in Gainesville from July 1 – 12 with the best of both European and American water polo

In the year of its 5th anniversary, Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) will organize for the first time a water polo camp in the US in conjunction with Gator Water Polo and with the support of the University of Florida, USA Water Polo and RF Learning.

BIWPA’s coaching staff will move to Gainesville, Florida, from July 1 to 12, leading a camp that will take place in two sessions, from July 1 – 5 and 8 – 12. For the athletes staying between the two sessions, the camp will offer tourist and cultural activities in the Florida area.

The work of the technique, individual tactics and decision-making will be the central aspects of a camp where athletes from all over the world will be able to share their passion for water polo while having a great time. The camp is open to players from around the world between 12 and 18 years old and will take place at the Dwight H. Hunter (Northeast) 50-meter outdoor pool. Undoubtedly, a unique opportunity to upgrade your game and meet athletes from around the world in an incredible international experience.

Campers will stay at the Holiday Inn University center hotel, located next to the University of Florida and just a 5-minute drive from the pool.

The best staff

The coaches from BIWPA will be headed by its Academy’s Sports Director and current head coach of CN Sabadell, Quim Colet. Colet was assistant coach of the Spanish national team at the Beijing and London Olympics and head coach of the junior national team, winning one gold and two silver medals.

The coaching team will be completed by Ferran Pascual, current player and coach of CN Rubi and the BIWPA Academy; Sarah Lizotte, American player, captain of CE Spain’s top division team Mediterrani; and Yuri Colet, current head coach at CN Poble Nou and the BIWPA Academy. The University of Florida head men’s water polo coach., David Huelsman, will also be part of the staff.

There are already athletes signed up from seven different countries around the world- from Europe (Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic) to Australia and South Africa, as well as North America (USA and Canada). Registration is still open for both sessions.

Clinic for coaches running alongside

BIWPA will offer throughout the two weeks of camp a clinic designed for coaches, mainly aimed at coaches from the Florida area and bordering states. The clinic will offer the possibility to club coaches to attend the camp with a group of players from their team and learn the best from European water polo training methodology.

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)