All posts in Waterpolo Barcelona

Barcelona (Spain) and water polo form a successful pairing. The Spanish city is undoubtedly one of the great spots for water polo worldwide, where the commitment to a minority sport such as water polo is greater, there are more clubs and more facilities to train and compete at the highest level.

Since the Olympic Games of Barcelona ’92, the city has hosted the World Championships in 2003 and 2013, the European Championships in 2018 and the Champions League finals in 2014 and 2015. Six major events in less than three decades.

In the last two years, 31 teams from 14 different countries participated in BIWPA’s training camps, with the United States as the country with more representation. BIWPA offers the best of Barcelona to all teams: clubs of a wide variety of levels for scrimmages, some of the best swimming pools and facilities to train at (Club Natació Barcelona, Olympic Montjuic pool, etc.), masterclasses with the best coaches, Watlicam sessions, restaurant recommendations, city’s must-sees, etc. Our team training camps are tailored to every team’s needs.

Players and coaches that have lived the water polo Barcelona experience shared their thoughts with us. Here’s what they think:

UC Davis in Barcelona

 

Gavin Arroyo, Head Coach LBSU and former player Atlètic-Barceloneta and CN Barcelona

My experience in Barcelona was unequivocal both in terms of water polo and life experiences. Playing with and some of the legends of the sport on a daily basis was challenging and educational. I was able to wander the streets of the Barri Gotic and plaza born on my way to Spanish class at the escola official de idiomas. There I met people from all over the world who introduced me to their culture and customs. Art, food, music, architecture, history, diverse people, Catalan hospitality with the best water polo coaches and players; That is what Barcelona means to me”.

 

Maggie Steffens, USA Women’s National Team captain and CN Sabadell player

“I feel very fortunate to be playing and competing in Barcelona, Spain. There is an energy here around sport that is inspiring to be surrounded by on a daily basis. In terms of water polo, you are playing against and with some of the most intelligent players in the game. I have learned so much from just watching players in practice and trying to imitate the way they might do something or try to prevent it from happening. I have learned a new style of play, a new vision of the game, a new methodology to training; all of which are tools to add to my tool box”.

“I have absolutely loved playing and learning here and I have been able to do it while living in easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Barcelona is absolutely incredible and has a new gift to offer every day. I have immersed myself in the culture; speaking the language, eating the (unbelievable) food, going to family homes for a Sunday Paella, exploring the streets of the city, & adventuring to the many wonders Spain has to offer. This truly is not just a place to visit, but a place to live. And for me personally, a place to learn and develop as I desire to grow as a player”.

 

Daniel Leyson, Head Coach UC Davis

Barcelona offers the best of both worlds when it comes to travel and water polo. All of the best teams in Spain are in the Barcelona area which enables any visiting team to train with a wide variety of high level clubs. And Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world with great tourist attractions, food, and night life!”

 

Quim Colet, Head Coach CN Sabadell

“Barcelona is the city with the most water polo teams in the world (8) and, in addition, there are more than a dozen water polo clubs in its area, all of which of a very high level. Besides, 80% of the players currently at Spain’s national teams train at the High Performance Center (CAR Sant Cugat), located very close to Barcelona. The Catalan competition is clearly the most important in the world in training categories. On the other hand, Barcelona is also one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, for me one of the most wonderful cities in the world. What more can you ask for?”

 

From left to right: Daniel Leyson (UCLA), Quim Colet and Gavin Arroyo (LBSU)

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)

Before, he will rejoin BIWPA with the Camps and other projects in the U.S.

BIWPA co-founder Yuri Colet landed in Barcelona on Thursday 8 to be presented as the new coach of the Poble Nou senior team. He will also take charge of the 12 to 13-year old category. After 3 years in Soller (Mallorca), where he has been managing the technical management of the water polo section, Yuri Colet couldn’t turn down the opportunity to come back to his home city. Apart from joining the Poble Nou family, Colet will also return to the BIWPAcademy as head coach.

Before the regular season kicks off, though, Quim Colet and Yuri Colet, along with Sarah Lizotte, the American player currently in CN Mediterrani, will lead the Summer Water Polo Camps in Barcelona, with still places available. In mid-July, the three of them will travel to the West Coast of the United States to impart a three-day Clinic in San Diego from the 18th to the 20th, a few days before the Junior Olympics. The Clinic will focus on the technical improvement of young players with the help of the Watlicam Waterline Camera, which offers a real-time performance analysis of athletes below and above the water. A unique tool that will turn the experience into something unforgettable.

BIWPA will also be present in the Junior Olympics–the largest age group water polo tournament in the USA–with a stand in the village. The two Colets and Lizotte will be representing BIWPA during the two sessions of the tournament, from the 22nd to the 25th (males) and from the 27th to the 30th of July (females). The Junior Olympics are a great event for BIWPA to enhance its Academy based in Barcelona, which has very strong ties with the Barcelona Campus of the North-American ES International School. It will also allow BIWPA to recruit American youngsters interested in improving water polo and education in the wonderful city of Barcelona, Spain.

 

 

 

Pep Marí, psicólogo deportivo

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

At the beginning, I thought to talk about water polo as a sport with ephemeral success or about less social and media impact, but I am not going to appeal or complain for that, because I think this feeling should be put it behind. The point is that we are stronger because we are different, unique, and besides, we’re good. We cannot talk about minority sport attending the successful results (not only in recent seasons, but also past 2 decades), the outburst of women’s water polo, the number of clubs competing at lower levels and their technical improvement, the amazing coaching, etc. Of course we can improve more than that but this is not our feeling, at least in Catalonia where we work to be better every single day. We do things to go forward, not backwards.

If we take a look back, we find a golden 2013 year in terms of results, especially the female team: April 27th, CN Sabadell female proclaimed European Clubs Champion in Hungary, after a hellish environment in semifinals. On August 2nd, in Bernat Picornell pools in Barcelona, the Spanish Women National Team was, for the first time ever, World Champion, amid a frenzied crowd. The 25th of the same month, in Volos, Greece, the Spanish Juniors made silver medal in the World U20. And, to finish the round, the youngest, the sub17, 2 weeks later, on September 8th, made silver medal in Europe sub17 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Shortly and concisely speaking, the women’s water polo season has been spectacular. And if you take a look a little further back in time, we will see that this success is the result of a really hard work. Female silver medal in the London Olympics 2012, Female World Junior Champion in Trieste (Italy), and the silver medal the male Junior team in Greece in 2011. In the summer, the female sub17 made ​​3rd Europe in Madrid, and the male sub17 made also 3rd in Rijeka (Croatia), plus of the 1st European Cup Women won by CN Sabadell. I’ll throw no further to the head, but enough has been achieved in terms of medals and finals and semifinals played. Besides, I only speak about international results, because nationwide successes are indisputable for our water polo. And I speak for all water polo without recognizing gender or age.

Ferran Plana

Ferran in Portugalete 2014

My point of view is not to compare water polo with other sports, because everyone is working to their fullest potential in terms of the (human and material) resources available, but if we look at other sports in our country, it seems difficult to find any other with same success in different categories and genres (I quote only basketball, year after year busting all medalists in men and women at all ages. BRAVO for them!).

These memories of recent times do nothing more than highlighting the results and translate the many, many hours of work and volume of desire and enthusiasm invested in our sport, water polo, both the players, the technical staff and many other people (to say the least, they do absolutely everything) that are responsible for implementing sports programs for clubs and federations.

The Spanish level has also risen, as well as the number of clubs and the overall development of water polo, but the Catalan level (which is actually the one I have more knowledge of)
has exponentially increased in recent years in terms of players, equipment, and technical structure.  A huge evolution.

A clear example of that was what happened on October 6th, coinciding with the Catalan Cup of the National League, where 43 catalan women water polo players, were rewarded for their amazing season 2012-2013 (yes!, you read well, 43!) for having been international medalists in the last season, on top of the 5 technicians who were part of the successful staffs (both in National teams and clubs). All these awards are just the tip of the spear of a sport in many places regarded as a minority, but that we consider different and unique, and that in Catalonia is very powerful and has a very good health at all ages and genders. And as far as I know,water polo is also spreading widely outside Catalonia (Basque Country, Navarra, Zaragoza and Sevilla, to cite clear examples), and scramble every day to grow in every way and without thinking whether they are better, lower or equal: they work hard. And we do too.

However, the economic situation is very, very tough. Clubs think how to get through their low incomes without dropping their investment, in my opinion, in the most important thing, the lower categories and the formation of new young players. On the other hand, the water polo Federation tries to fit this technical needs with the economic situation of the clubs (short distance commuting, short tournaments, intensification of the weekends…). Do not forget that there is always the main idea that we are “professionals” of water polo (this expression does not go with work hours, salary, etc, but it goes with the availability that each of us has). Finally this is a sport, a right and a pleasure. Just a few of us have the privilege of educating through sport.

Water polo

Ferran Plana-spanish seleccion U18

We would like to go out a lot more in the media, but don’t be naive … our country (Spain or Catalonia; I will not go into this debate) has no sports culture generally speaking. In fact, it just has a soccer culture! And the rest goes behind, because what people read, watch and talk about is soccer, sometimes about basketball and of course about Alonso and Nadal. This is it! The rest has to “compete” to appear rarely in the media. And if we briefly show up (due tonational and international events) it means that we are doing well, very well. Even when instantly the society forgets our effort, we keep working, just to reappear again, most of the times thanks to very engaged fans following our victories and showing how self-sacrificing this sport is. If during the season, “we catch” any article, any document, any cuts in a sports or news program, this is more than welcome! And believe me, on a smaller scale so many clubs, federations, associations, coaches and players have entered in the 2.0 age: Twitter, Facebook, profiles, blogs, web pages... with the main purpose to show up and to spread among all of us the information that we want. Although slowly, for sure these new tools are approaching to us to the rest of the world. 

To finish with, I hope that I have achieved my goal with these lines: leave the banners and prejudices that see us as a minority sport. No excuses and worries anymore, we want solutions. Instead of complaining, we should change and fit in. The only way is to work hardly, as other minority sports do. This is the only philosophy and way: feeling completely full and confident, so that step by step, we gradually achieve the same vision of those who watch us from “outside “.

Equipo Nacional

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

The third edition of the Water polo Open TURBO Christmas Cup took place the last weekend. The success of the past editions allowed to open this tournament to U10COED.  For this reason the competition took place in two different places: in the CN Sabadell and in the CN Molins de Rei.

This year 42 water polo teams signed up The Christmas Cup and more than 500 players participated in it.  Most of the teams were from Catalonia but were also teams from the rest of Spain and even one from France: The Duaphines de Sete.  This kind of tournaments are keeping the water polo alive and allow to this young players to play their sport in a festive environment.

The main idea of The Christmas Cup was from the Federació Catalana  and TURBO, this one as a promoter. This year they work together with CN Sabadell and CN Molins de Rei to celebrate this successful event.

We asked the children who participated in the tournament why they play water polo and what does it mean for them to play the Turbo Christmas Cup and this is what they answered:

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Marc Valls

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Marc Valls 2003, CN Barcelona

I love practicing water polo because this sport taught to me a lot of important things in my life. I learnt what sacrifice means and this helped to me to get better results.

I’ve got a lot of friend to this sport because we share our emotions together. The Christmas Cup means to me the excitement to play in a important tournament against other teams and of course to won this edition was very cool. Water polo is amazing!!!!!

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Mar Navarro

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Mar Navarro 2002, Club Natació Sant Feliu

I’m playing water polo since I was 6. I enjoy playing with my teammates but to practice every day after school is not easy at all. I should organize my free time to do my homework and my to prepare the exams.
This edition is my third one. I improve my water polo skills and I like this tournament because I play against a several teams. I would like to participate the next year but that means that U14 must be included.

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Nacho Bargalló

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Ignasi Bargalló García 2003, CN Barcelona

“I grew up following my sisters in their games so water polo is part of my life since I was little. The Christmas Cup has been a great experience to me and I’m very happy!, It has been a two intense days because we played against a lot of teams. There were very exciting matches and to arrive to the final and win the tournament it was the best.”

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Max Omedes

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Max Omedes Ribas 2002, Centre Natació Mataró

“Water polo is a team sport you must play very attuned with the rest of your teammates. I feel more agile in the water than outside, definitely I am feeling more confortable in there.

This was my 3rd edition of the Christmas Cup. During two days water polo has been the principal fact not only for the matches also for sharing time with your teammates and other players and at the end to get the first place it’s the most exciting experience.!”

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Berta Pastor García

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Berta Pastor García 2004 , Club Natació Terrassa

“I love playing water polo because it’s fun. I really enjoy meeting my friends every day at the pool to play with them
The coolest thing of this competition is the amount of Catalonian teams who are participating, even one from Zaragoza. The greatest part has been to share this experience with my teammates from the CN Terrassa.”

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Año nacimiento 2002

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Unai Aguirre 2002, Portero de CN Barcelona

“It’s a great experience to share in two days the passion for our sport, I’ve played two editions of the Christmas Cup and this year I’ve also been lucky enough to win. This kind of tournaments to permit to keep this sport alive.”
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Pau Vilar

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Pau Vilar 2003, CN Barcelona

“Playing water polo with my friends is the best experience to me. I enjoyed a lot participating in the in the Christmas Cup and to do our best as a team. To play against several teams allowed to us to get more connected between us.”