After two years at the BIWPA Academy, Pau Vilar enters the high performance center ‘CAR de Sant Cugat’ and will play both with the 18u team at Club Natació Barcelona and UE Horta senior team on the first national division. The goalkeeper won the Catalan and Spanish Championships in the 16u category this past season 18/19. Here are his thoughts after two years with the BIWPA sports program.
What were your goals when you entered the BIWPA program both academic and sports wise?
When I entered the BIWPA Academy, I wanted to improve a lot and get into the high performance center (CAR Sant Cugat). At the academic level I wanted to perform higher by getting better grades.
What memories do you have of the first classes and sessions, staff, classmates, teachers…?
I remember that the first day I was very nervous because I didn’t know anyone and I was afraid I didn’t get along with my classmates, but they are all very nice and we became friends quickly.
When I met the coaching staff the first day, I was surprised. There were many coaches and many people behind the program, all very nice and very friendly. And at school, from the beginning I was struck that the teachers were very flexible and knew our training schedules perfectly.
What are the hardest moments of the season and how did you overcome them?
This season I had a very hard time before starting 2019. I had a family problem and I did not feel like training, I did not want to go to class, I didn’t want to eat…
I got over it thanks to my colleagues who helped me a lot, took my mind off my problems and gave me a smile every day to move on. I love my coaches and all the BIWPA staff, they have been very helpful at all times during these two years and I liked that a lot.
What are your thoughts after your two-year experience at BIWPA?
At BIWPA I have been able to see the level of other countries as many foreign teams and players came to train. I have also been able to train two sessions per day and thanks to this I have greatly improved my sports performance. And the most important thing for me is that I have been able to make friends all over Spain and also outside of Spain.
The past summer I was also able to play the Junior Olympics in California the with Foothill. It was an unforgettable experience!
Do you think that being at BIWPA has also benefited you personally and academically, beyond sports?
Of course, thanks to the BIWPA program I have been able to see what water polo is and how it is the life of water polo players, coaches and the people surrounding this sport. I also had to become more disciplinate in order to go to practice every day and be ready at the pool at 7:45.
At the academic level I have improved and my level of English has risen thanks to the international players that come to Barcelona with the BIWPA program.
How has the work with BIWPA influenced your club?
Thanks to the work done with BIWPA I have been able to perform better with my club team, which has also made my teammates better. It has also made a difference during the competition games. I am now a better goalkeeper.
What is your balance both sports and academic in BIWPA, have you met your goals?
My time at BIWPA has been amazing. I have been able to achieve the objectives that I set for myself two years ago when I started the program: improve my level as a water polo player, enjoy more playing this sport, contribute to win the championships and tournaments with my club, and get into CAR. And any of this would have been possible without the work and sacrifice of all my colleagues and coaches, who have trusted me every day to get better.
Now you start at CAR next season. How do you face the challenge?
Entering the CAR is very difficult and very few people can achieve it. So I will try to enjoy it by giving the maximum at the practices and at school to continue growing both as an individual and as an athlete.
What are your future plans, academically and water polo?
At the academic level I want to get into to the university. Next year I will begin my last two years of high school studies with this objective. And next season is full of challenges: I will train at CAR Sant Cugat and play with the 18u team at CN Barcelona, and also in the 1st National Division with the UE Horta. There’s a lot more to come!