The water polo Academy based in Barcelona and led by Quim Colet has started the new season with record-breaking numbers, more international athletes than ever, and brand new services

Water polo season 2018-19 is underway in Barcelona and many of the Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) athletes made their debuts last weekend with their respective teams. The fifth year of the Academy and the number of athletes, both international and locals, has never been so high before.

There are currently 22 water polo players at the Academy, with nearly 50% being from outside of Spain. 11 of the 13 Spanish athletes are Catalans, while two of them have come from different parts of Spain (Coruña and Madrid). On the other hand, up to nine athletes from different parts of the world have joined the Academy. Three of them are from the USA, while the rest are from Malta, Romania, Sweden, Denmark, Mexico and Peru.

One of the main advantages of the Academy sports program is the flexibility. Athletes can choose how long will their stay in Barcelona last. While some stay the whole Academic year, others opt for a short program or a semester. It is the case of Clodagh Weir from New Zealand who will be in Barcelona for two months, from November until December. But most of the incoming athletes will arrive in January. It is the case of Hannah, Ethan, Wyatt, Ryder, Mikey and Easton, all from the USA.

Brand new: Nutrition, physiotherapy and mental coach

As the Academy grows, so do the services that BIWPA provides. There are three new services that the technical staff has decided to incorporate into the day-to-day routine at the Academy. All the international athletes will now have guidance on their eating habits and behaviors. They will also have available a physiotherapy service and a mental coach to help improve the athlete’s mental readiness, focus, ability to relax, energy and emotional control, as well as other mental factors involved in training and performance.

Anni Espar, our ambassador

The two-time Olympian Anni Espar, silver medal in London 2012, World Championships winner in Barcelona 2013 and three-time Champions League winner with CN Sabadell will come to the Academy to give masterclasses on a regular basis. Anni joined the first practice last week and has been collaborating with BIWPA in other activities for several years.