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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

The Filipinos improved the 5th place of the 2015 Sea Games

 

The Philippines Men’s National Team clinched a very valuable 4th place on the 29th Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur. Reynaldo Galang’s squad missed out on a podium finish after being defeated by Indonesia 12-5, but overall, the team has improved compared to the last performance in 2015 Sea Games.

Right before the Games kicked off, the team travelled to Barcelona, Spain, to take a one-month training camp with Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA). The team training camps are aimed at any team from all over the world that is wishing to improve its water polo through custom-made training sessions. BIWPA arranges the whole camp with the best facilities and the possibility to discover the city’s best attractions and gastronomy.

The Filipinos travelled to Europe with a clear objective: Make impact in men’s water polo and reach the medals. In Barcelona, the players improved their water polo and got the chance to play against skilled and local teams, with much more technique and a “smarter play”, as coach Galang said. They had training sessions twice a day and they played daily scrimmages against young local teams.

Filipinos Sea Games Gabi

Gabor Egedi, adjusting the defense

During the camp, the team was assigned an assistant coach, the Hungarian Gabor Egedi, who stuck with coach Galang and the players throughout the whole month that they spent in Barcelona. “Gabi” also stayed with the team after playing a tournament in Portugal and returning to Asia to gear up for the Sea Games. He acted as an assistant coach during the celebration of the Sea Games, overseeing their improvement during the entire competition. “The players did an incredible job, I’m very proud of them, for me, you are the champions”, he said on Facebook after the Sea Games finished.

If the team keeps progressing like it did on this last Games, in two years they will be able to aim at something big on the 30th edition of the Sea Games, which will be hosted by the Philippines, in Manila. Next summer, coach Galang and the team members are highly considering to come back to Barcelona to attend the European Championships and train again with BIWPA.

Filipinos Sea Games Scrimmages

The Philippines, with the Catalan players after a scrimmage

The University of California, Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, has trusted in BIWPA to help the women’s water polo team start off their season in Barcelona.

UCLA took part in a team training camp and the girls, led by Brandon Brooks, had a 10-day stay in the Catalan capital where they combined training sessions, friendly matches and leisure and cultural activities.

“Barcelona was always at the top list of my favorite cities in the world, so I wanted to have a chance to bring my girls here and get to see the city and the community. Also, the Spanish women’s water polo is very high”, assures Brandon.

High level trainings

The training days were composed of double training sessions and friendly matches against teams of Barcelona and its metropolitan area such as CN Mataró, CN Rubí and CE Mediterrani.

To carry out their trainings, the girls enjoyed the magnificent facilities of Montjuïc Olympic pool, with spectacular views that the city of Barcelona has to offer, and Centre Natació Mataró which is recognized for its beachside facilities.

“The facilities are great. Two facilities right on the beach and one up in Montjuïc; you can’t say any pool is really any prettier than this one. We had dinner in some excellent restaurants, the food was great, the people were great…we had an excellent time” assures Brandon.

Olympic background

The team also consisted of two Olympic players like Rachel Fattal and Maddie Musselman, who both win gold medals in the summer Rio 2016 Olympics.

In addition, Brandon Brooks, who took over as coach in 2009, was part of the United States national team who participated in Athens 2004 Olympics and Beijing 2008.

In 2007, the UCLA women’s water polo team gave their University a national title, number 100, a record that stands in the NCAA, National Collegiate Athletic Association.

VIDEO – Watch UCLA experience in Barcelona

uclacampnou

len-champions-league

The LEN Champions League is here. The most important clubs appointment will take place in Budapest (Hungary), specifically in the legendary pool of Alfred Hajos in the Margarita Island.

In this same place, two years ago, the woman Spanish national team became European champion. Our ambassadress Anni Espar was there and keeps an indelible memory of this event.

The six best teams of the moment will fight for taking the reign that nowadays and since last year Pro Recco has, when they won in Barcelona their eighth European cup. Besides the Italian team, the next teams will contest in the 2016 Final Six: ZF-Eger (Hungary), Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia), Szolnoki Dózsa-Közgép (Hungary), Olympiakos (Greece) and our representative the CNAB.

All the teams have the intention of become the European champion. The great rival, as every year since the arrival of Volpi to the Italian club is Pro Recco, composed by a completely All Star world team. With top players like Sukno, Tempesti, Mandic, Bodegas, etc.

But this time, the organizers want that the Final Six can be a massive event, for that reason, this time the pool will have its maximum capacity, even more than the European championship in 2014. It is calculated from the organization that the pool will have an approximate capacity of 6.000 locations without counting the media and the VIP locations.

Besides, the fans that will move will be numerous. In the case of Olympiakos, there are hundreds of tickets for the greek fans that with no doubt, will fill the stands with atmosphere and its unconditional support. They hope to repeat the success in 2002 when they raised the trophy in the Margarita Island for the first time.

From BIWPA, we want to send the best wishes to CNAB and specially to one of our best collaborators: Dani López Pinedo. But also we want to wish good luck to our BIWPA ambassadors Felipe Perrone and Xavi Garcia.

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

netherland-waterpolo

Trieste preolympic has finished and it’s time to collect some impressions about what has happened in this appointment that gave the pass to the Olympic games. The first good news are definitely that the Spanish national team will be at Rio 2016. With a good team gaming despite they started badly the event.

Other good news are the good sensations that Canada national team have left along all the preolyimpic and they showed clear signs of the good health of the waterpolo in north America. The tie with only a few seconds left that they got against Hungary will remain for the posterity of this sport.

But for BIWPA, if there is a national team that has been the surprise team –with permission of the rest-, that has been the Holland national team. Their game has been praised for most of the experts and the brash that they have showed when fronting the rivals without caring about their level, even if they were superior a priori.

Guided by the Olympic champion Robin Van Galen, that won the Olympic Games with the woman national team, the squad has taken an undeniable leap of quality. This is in part because of the large agreement that BIWPA has with the dutch federation. There are a few points to focus in, but we will analyze two of the most importants.

The first of them are the stages that the senior national team and the lower grades realize in Barcelona, looking for a place to compete and grow as a team having in front top rivals.

This plan was created in 2014 as a consequence of two matches that in may of the same year BIWPA organized for the Dutch team. The Catalan coaches were invited and the result was magnificent. Thanks to this four Dutch players were incorporated to the Spanish competitions, being Club Natació Barcelona and Club Natació Sabadell the host clubs.

The second point is maybe one of the most noteworthy that can explain the evolution and growth of the Dutch waterpolo directed by Van Galen. In this new season 2015/2016 there are up to seven players in the Spanish top division, a very interesting aspect that has allowed, as Van Galen has recognized, to adapt the players to an extraordinary competitive level that seems to be the mainstay of his team. “We see a streamlined development in technical, tactical, physical and mental aspects in our players in Barcelona that lets them reach a better level than they had playing in Holland” , recognized the “orange” coach few months ago.

For BIWPA this preolympic has been a satisfaction as a company. When we started with the collaboration with the dutch federation, we established a Olympic program thinking in Tokio 2020, without forgetting Rio was at the corner and was a good opportunity too. We won’t deny that the non-qualification of our dutch friends has been something sad, but observing the development and knowing that is a young team, we are sure that if we continue with the same dynamic and we keep cooperating, Tokio will see the renaissance of a competitive team that can become a referent for the waterpolo in the north of Europe.

Barry-King-indiana-water-polo

In general, what do you think about the team training camps (facilities, accessibility, organization)?

The facilities were outstanding. The convenience of walking to CN Barcelona for training and taking the Metro to our competitions made preparations very easy. As I discussed with you in Spain, I would have preferred more formal competitions, rather than the scrimmage type of activities we had at most places. CN Rubi was the closest to what I would have wanted at each place. Meditterani was the least productive activity for us.

What did you and your team think about the level of the Catalan teams?

I was very impressed with the sound fundamentals of each team we played. The level of competition was very appropriate for our team. We were required to play hard and be prepared to compete. Any team from the United States would be able to find competition at the appropriate level.

What did you and your team think about the city of Barcelona?

We loved Barcelona! It is beautiful and very easy to manage. The Metro is very convenient and clean. The city is diverse in food and culture. The people were very friendly and helpful. Our group’s collective ability to speak Spanish was low, but we found that it was fairly easy to get around due to the citizens proficient English.

What did you think about BIWPA as a service?

I enjoyed working with you very much. I wish I would have started the conversation earlier to have more time to really reap all of the benefits of what BIWPA and Barcelona had to offer. I very much appreciated your response and service after the Meditterani issues. I thought overall it was a tremendous experience for our time. Your service was a large reason.

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!

The last time ‘Orange’ (Holland water polo men’s team) played at the Olympics was in Sydney 2000. To maximize our chances on qualification for Rio 2016 and – definitely – Tokyo 2020 we created an ambitious plan in 2014, with a key role for BIWPA and Barcelona water polo clubs.

Part of our plan is to have as much as possible ‘Orange’ men playing for Barcelona club teams in the top division of Spanish water polo. It gives them the opportunity to be part of a full time weekly program, managed by experienced club coaches, comprising some nine training sessions plus a match on top level. This is impossible in today’s Holland (club) water polo.

After we had our initial contact with BIWPA, they organized two test matches against Barcelona club teams in May 2014. All Barcelona club coaches were invited to see both test matches. It resulted in four of our ‘Orange’ players performing in the Spanish top division, season 2014/2015 (2 x CN Barcelona and 2 x CN Sabadell). This season 2015/2016, seven players are playing for Barcelona club teams (2 x Mataró, 2 x CN Sant Andreu, 2 x CN Rubí and 1 x CN Sabadell).

We see a faster technical, tactical, physical and mental development of our players in Barcelona compared to when they were active in Holland, thus increasing our chances on qualification for the Olympics. Rio 2016 might still come to soon, but we aim to be present again in Tokyo 2020.

We believe in our collaboration with Barcelona clubs and we are happy to have BIWPA as our agent from the start of our project. BIWPA keeps close contact with both Barcelona clubs & coaches and our ‘Orange’ players in Barcelona, so they can feel at home.

Besides being our agent, BIWPA organizes waterpolo bootcamps in Barcelona for us, both our National senior and youth teams. Our water polo bootcamp with some 80 ‘Orange’ youth players in February 2015, flawlessly organised by BIWPA, was the highlight of our collaboration so far.

Inspired by, and through positive experiences of our ‘Orange’ (youth) players active in Barcelona, more and more clubs and talent centers from all over Holland find their way to BIWPA to organize waterpolo bootcamps for them in Barcelona. Their reactions are without exception positive, on both content as well as BIWPA’s organizer role.

In a short period of time BIWPA established to become known throughout Holland water polo as a reliable and pleasant partner to work with. We look forward to have a long and strong relationship with BIWPA, and value your contribution in realizing our ‘Orange’ ambitions and dreams.

Management Water polo team Holland (men)
Robin van Galen, Hans Nieuwenburg and Ed van Es

From the 22nd to the 28th of November, Indiana Water Polo University girls were with BIWPA for our Team Training service. The Americans, coached by Barry King, made a total of six intensive days of training with two sessions in the morning and afternoon.
The first in the morning with two hours of preparation in the water at the Club Natació Barcelona facilities and afternoon preparatory scrimmages with different Catalan sports clubs. Among those who were CE Mediterrani, CN Mataro, CN Rubi and Sant Feliu.
These trainings are an added value to your stay in Barcelona because it serves as an opportunity to measure your level with the level of the European professional clubs. In addition, this serves as an opportunity to gauge their potential in the face of competition in the United States.
 The joint address by Barry King, has shown in social networks that Indiana was very pleased with this expedition to Barcelona. Their journey was published in a blog on their website where they wrote about their everyday experiences.
Although the visit served as sports training, it was also the first time many of the players have visited Barcelona and therefore have taken the opportunity to learn more about the secrets behind this city. Thus, they were able to see different places and were able to enjoy the excellent Mediterranean food.
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