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Kelly Doherty (California, 1999), who has been in our Academy for the past two years, will now be playing in the prestigious University of California, Berkeley.

Sometimes dreams do come true, due to a lot of effort & sacrifice. For Kelly & her family, this has been the reason for so much happiness, as well as for BIWPA. When Kelly arrived in Barcelona, she had in mind the goal of playing for a university in the United States of America. Something complicated, but not impossible.

We got to meet her during our summer water polo camp. Both sides were extremely delighted from the beginning. As soon as she knew about our Full Program, she didn’t think twice. She landed in September in Barcelona with her sister, Alison. During these two years they have been supporting each other to grow not only in the sport, but also on a personal level.

After two years of countless hours at the pool, improving her individual technique during long training sessions with her teammates at the Academy, and later, at the CN Catalunya club, Kelly has succeeded & made it. She has reached an optimum level of the sport, so much so that one of the most prestigious universities in the United States believes that she deserves to defend their colors.

Like Kelly, there has been more than 20 boys & girls from all over the world who have come & been in our Academy to improve their water polo skills in Barcelona – in addition to learning the Spanish language – one of the most important cities for this sport. In addition, Kelly has completed her high school studies at the ES International School school with which BIWPA has a collaboration agreement, the ESIS school is dedicated to working with international student-athletes to realize their full potential and to provide them with a lifetime of opportunities.

They have improved, competed, made new friends & returned home with the satisfaction of having worked hard in the water, and of course, always with a smile. The thing is that sometimes dreams come true & someone like Kelly Doherty can attest to it.

But beyond Kelly´s case, there are thousands of male and females water polo players in the world with a goal. Some of them, want to end up competing in Europe & take on an experience that will last them a lifetime. Others, on the contrary, just like most of our players, want to achieve their maximum potential and goal: to apply for a university chosen by them, and to in order to do it, the only secret is to work hard and be surrounded by the best.

For this reason, from BIWPA, we have created the Academy, with the hope of being, as it has been so far, a tool for those athletes who want to achieve their goals in life. Regardless of how ambitious it would be, in BIWPA, we would like to be part of this process.

The waterpolo coach, Quim Colet, with more than 30 years of experience as waterpolo coach, is now the new Sports Director of BIWPA.
Today, the BIWPA Academy begins the 2016-2017 season under the sports direction and management of Quim Colet.

Quim Colet is the new Sports Director of BIWPA and also, the responsible for Sports Academy. The international academic year has already begun and with him, BIWPA begins this season. The new Sports Director will manage, coordinate and supervise the daily trainings of the young athletes who will form part of the BIWPA Academy in the season 2016-2017.

Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) is a unique and novel project which is destined to train and educate young waterpolo athletes from all over the world in Barcelona, combining studies with the waterpolo. BIWPA has found in Quim Colet the sports experience which was looking for, necessary for the direction, in addition to “know our philosophy and working methodology”, confirms the general management.

Quim Colet has been the Technical Waterpolo Director of the Catalan Swimming Federation during the last eight years, designing and adapting a working model which is a worldwide reference. In addition, he has coached the male waterpolo Olympic team in Beijing 2008 & London 2012, and also the junior team selector, obtaining several medals such as the gold medal in the World Junior Los Angeles 91, the Bronze medal in Mar Del PlAta 2005, and the silver medal in Volos 2011, as well as some medals in European Championships like: the silver in Sopron 1992 or the bronze in Oradea 2005

In BIWPA we’re in luck! From now on, all students participating in the Academy program and want to continue their studies in Barcelona have the option to  follow the American educational program in English at ES International School.

This private school follows the educational standards and programs of the Department of Education of the State of Florida, United States. It is aimed for the success of international students. For this reason the language of instruction and administration is English, and the school works directly with native teachers. The ES International School is located within the premises of the Sanchez-Casal Academy (El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona). This Academy is internationally recognized and sport is an essential part of the curriculum. T

he classes of this Academy are organized around the training sessions of our athletes. In addition, this school offers a service of obtaining athletic scholarships at US universities to all students who graduate from high school and who meet the requirements.

The International School in Barcelona, ​​is recognized in Spain as an Abroad Center that offers the educational system of the United States by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Spanish Ministry of Education. It is also recognized by the Middle States Association of the United States. In BIWPA we believe that education and training of athletes is essential in the growth of sport, which is why we constantly look for the best options to meet the academic needs of our athletes.

So far the students who have been part of BIWPA Academy program, continued their studies at the Blume residence, where they live and train, which counts among its facilities with a public institute that is covered by the Spanish regulations. In order to expand the possibilities and give our students the opportunity to choose between two different academic programs in BIWPA we have reached this agreement with ES International School.

Frederik Heyde-Petersen

Frederik is a fanatic water polo player who lives in Denmark and plays for a prestigious club FREM Odense in the men’s first division. The team won the Danish Cup in December, second year in a row. Frederik has many different nationalities in his team as he states “our team is quite international with players from Hungary, Croatia, Moldova and Portugal”. 

Frederik’s water polo career looks a bit like the following “I have scored about a dozen goals this season in the men’s division – and every one of them is fondly remembered. I have also played for Denmark’s U13, U15 and U17 teams in the past, and February 2016 another goal was reached: I was called up for Denmark’s senior team to practice with them”.

Frederik explained in the interview that he has improved a lot throughout his visit to BIWPA and thoroughly enjoyed his experience. He says “BIWPA is just the best. The place, the facilities, the people, the city, and the competence of the coaches there, all make BIWPA the best”. Frederik outlines his first exciting hours of BIWPA “The first time I went, I went completely alone on an early morning flight to El Prat and I was quite nervous. I did not speak a single word of Spanish. 

But staff greeted me as soon as I left customs, we went to a cafe and waited for two more players from Brazil (I like the global outlook of BIWPA!) and everything was just great – 5 hours after leaving Denmark I was playing water polo at Club Natacio Barcelona, right next to the Mediterranean, with players (who became friends I still have contact with) from the US, Brazil, Greece, Andorra, Germany”. BIWPA is internationally based with many different nationalities coming to camps and exploring Barcelona, giving you the opportunity to build a great sports network.

Frederik would highly recommend BIWPA as he says “BIWPA has been great on so many levels and I have learnt a lot from joining BIWPA: I know (some) Spanish now, some Catalonian, I have friends all over the world, and I am a much better water polo player, especially technically”. After leaving BIWPA Frederik tells us that “I have even begun coaching water polo to our young players in the club – and I am the proud coach of the U9, trying to pass on all the things I learnt when I was at BIWPA”.

water polo academy

Could you imagine having the opportunity to live in Barcelona and train water polo with some of the best coaches? This is what all our Academy students are doing thanks to BIWPA. Our young athletes come from all around the world with the same goal: to improve their water polo skills while enjoying a new cultural experience far from their home.

· Alison Doherty, 13 years old (California, USA)

“Ever since my first day at BIWPA Academy I feel like I’ve been improving my skills a lot. My goals are to improve my water polo skills and at the same time my ability to speak and understand Spanish and Catalan fluently”

I love this experience here in Barcelona. I’m here with my mom and my sister Kelly and I wish I could stay here forever; it’s amazing, I love it so much!”

· Kelly Doherty, 16 years old (California, USA)

“My goals are to improve as a player; as a more technical player and be able to read offense and defense. Just to improve all around. By now I feel like I’ve definitely improved my water polo skills

“I am really enjoying this experience. It’s a different lifestyle from the United States and I really enjoy everything about it”

· Eleni Kokinos, 17 years old (California, USA)

“My main two goals are to get on the ODP team which is the American Olympic Development team and to hopefully play water polo in college”

“I think that my swimming has improved the most. Since I’m a fairly slow swimmer and now I’m actually beginning to progress in that aspect, so it’s been very positive”

“I’ve made lots of friends in the Blume residence and I really enjoy my time going to school here. I really enjoy having the freedom to go out and explore Barcelona

Water polo is a sport that to a greater or lesser extent practiced worldwide. Asia is, in that sense, one of the forgotten along with Africa. However, work is ongoing and in recent years there have been great strides in Asian countries.
Singapore is a case in point. The great successes in the Asian Games were in the fifties for this country and in the eighties with bronze. Since then little has been done until recently. Of course, in the Games of the Southeast they are clear favorites.
Lee Sai Meng, the national coach does not hide his intention to medium term is to become the fourth power of the region with work and discipline.
In BIWPA we have known this reality in the hands of two players who were with us recently at the Academy. Matthew (2000) and Brandon (2002). Both with great potential and disciplined but as usual at their age, with much room for improvement.
The first, Ferran Pascual our Academy Coach stressed that is a physical marvel. “He has a lot of resistance out and swimming with good movement and footwork. He has good shot but lacks precision. It is noted that his country has no water polo basics work but has potential and could become a good player with hard work and discipline, “says Ferran Pascual.
About Brandon, our Academy Coach points out that for his age he is very strong and that his shooting is spectacular. “He’s left-handed and the truth is that I was surprised with his shot. He lacks coordination with his legs and in individual technical aspects but we have suggested ways to improve this and if he works more with us he could become a very good player. He is disciplined and that helps a lot, “says Ferran Pascual on Matthew.
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What can you tell us of the time with the Riptides Water Polo?

It was my first time in high school, I´ve trained much to improve, I´ve met new people…    It´s been very fun. I´m still not playing because I´m the yougest and I have to work hard to improve my position in the team.

What do you think are your strenghts and your weaknesses?

As a weak point, I´m not very agressive, which is essential in water polo. On the other hand, I value my technique for swimming and defend.

How would you define as a player?

Practically I have just started playing, I have only 2 years. I´m someone who have the desire to learn and to have fun.

What you´ve discovered during these 2 years of initiation?

I like to work in a team. Before I swam and now I am able to train hard with a group where I have more fun.

What has helped you to jump into the water polo from swimming?

Above all in the technique when it comes to swimming, having started with a good domain has been very important.

Where you see in the future?

I´d like to become a first team player, and then if I improve much, I would like to play at the college level and also to get a scholarship at the University.

Do you think that BIWPA can help you to get it?

Yes, because the summer is a good time to improve, and also in my case it helps me to prepare the Junior Olympics, that i´m going to play soon.

As a sporting level I have improved the pass and the shot, because I don´t have a hard shot and thanks to practice i´m perfecting it.

You´ve signed up to do a short program, but would you like to be able to carry out a full program?

Yes while I could combine it with the school.

The  European  Belgrade 2016 has already begun. From 10 to 23 of January, the best nacional teams will give appointment in the Serbian capital for the continental title. 16 countries in male and 12 female make up groups.

Serbia in men and Spain on girls are the current champions after the gold obtained in Budapest 2014. Furthermore, this year the competition has the great incentive to take place at the gates of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The big event of this sport.

BIWPA also participates indirectly in this European because several of our ambassadors will be in the water. Dani Pinedo, Bea Ortiz and the Espar sisters will fight for the medals.

From here we send them the greatest of luck!

paula abellan
 Hi, my name is Paula Abellan and I am currently studying and playing waterpolo at CSUN (California State University of Northridge). This is my second year and the truth is that is been much easier to be here, away from my family, than last year. Last year was hard because all the changes that I had to make such as language, culture, food, and people. Everything got much better this second year, and the biggest change is where I am living this year. I am living in an apartment so that lets me eat healthier than last year.
About our practices, this year our practices are a little bit different from last year. Last year we spent the first 2 months of school JUST SWIMMING, and as a waterpolo player, we kind of hate that. This year has been more waterpolo skills and I am excited for that. Next week, we start practicing 20 hours per week, and the whole team is excited about it because that means that we are going to play more waterpolo, and that’s good, because we are not playing in any type of tournament or official game until January.
Last year I had my complications, and I thought about leaving and going back home with my family, but I didn’t. I realized that here my team is my second family, and that the education that I am getting here, I am not going to get it over there. I am so grateful that I decided to stay and I am so happy that two years ago, I decided to look for a scholarship in the United States. So my recommendation for everyone is, DO IT. If you have the opportunity to do it, to come here, to study here, DO IT. Because this experience is awesome.

How did you learn about BIWPA?

My mother looked for a water polo campus in Barcelona and she came across BIWPA, which was good because I could learn the language and the Spanish culture.

What skills do you want to develop in the academy?

Ball handling; we work a lot with the ball and we improve both on offesnse and defense.

Why did you choose Barcelona for your training?

My mother wanted me to learn Spanish and I believed that Barcelona would be the best place for me to improve my skills.


And is it?

Yes, I came last year and this year I decided to repeat because it is a great experience. I learned many things during this time. I believe that it is a good way of integrating a new style of playing water polo with the style of the USA.

How important is meeting new people and learning languages during this process?

It is very important, the more relations I have the better I get along with them. The language can help you to function in other countries and have some additional resource to English.

Spending your second year in BIWPA, do you already feel as a veteran?

(Laughs) A little, but there is still much work to do.

Do you believe that training in BIWPA might help you to get a university scholarship?

I am going to try it, yes. If I obtained a scholarship I would feel that I have been successful in water polo, and this program is helped me to reach this goal.