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A successful 2018 has come to an end for BIWPA, which has entered 2019 as the year of its fifth anniversary. In 2018, BIWPA organized a total of 3 campuses in 4 weeks (one in Easter and another three in summer), three events and 15 team training camps. Additioanally, 45 athletes were enrolled in the Academy during the last season. In the paragraphs below we go over the figures, teams and nationalities.

Academy (17-18)

A total of 45 athletes took part in the BIWPA Academy in the 2017-18 season, from September 2017 to June 2018. Out of these 45, 23 participated in the annual program, while the rest, 22, took part in the short program, which allows athletes to experience the Academy for a limited time (during a week, a month or even a semester). Although most athletes were local, up to 14 water polo players came from the United States. In total, we had athletes from 11 different nationalities.

Campus

As usual in recent years, this 2018 we held three water polo camps. During Easter time we were in the CAR Sant Cugat, the high performance center where the best athletes in the country train. On this campus we had a very special guest, the international Spanish water polo player Albert Español. 24 players from eight different countries participated in this first week of camp.

A few months later we moved to Club Natació Barcelona (CNB), ​​one of the best sports clubs in the country, for our summer camps. We spent two weeks in the CNB and one in CAR, between June and July. Throughout these three weeks we had 114 participants from 25 different countries. Up to 69 campers took part in the two weeks of the CNB summer camp, representing 14 different nationalities from three continents: Europe, America and Oceania.

The summer camp at CAR welcomed 45 campers in a single week, coming from 14 countries in Europe and America. All the participants had the chance to see the European water polo championships live from Barcelona.

In total, our camps in 2018 received 138 participants from 26 different countries. At the 2019 Easter Camp (April 14-20) we will celebrate our fifth anniversary, with several surprises to be revealed and the registration still open.

Team Training Camps

2018 has also been a great year in terms of the organization of team training camps. Here are the 13 teams that participated in the 14 team camps organized in 2018: Widex GZC Donk (Netherlands) twice, Water Polo Canada, SK Neptun (Sweden), La Morinda (USA), Cuba men’s national team, Portugal men’s national team, Torino (Italy), 680 Drivers (USA), Rose Bowl (USA), Ontario (Canada), Commerce (USA), Falu Vattenpolo (Sweden), Christ Church Grammar School (Australia). This means an approximate number of 250 athletes from 8 different countries.

Events

This past year has been very positive also in the tournament section. BIWPA organized its two reference events, improving the numbers of the past editions in both cases. The second edition of the Beach Water Polo Costa Brava in Palamós (August 31 – September 2) grew from 16 teams to 26 teams from seven countries. The Macros team, a combination of active players and former players of Club Natació Barcelona, ​​was proclaimed champion of the Beach Polo, which brought together a total of 300 athletes. Top division players such as Edu Lorrio, Víctor Flores, Adrià Delgado or Roc Ferrer participated in the event, as well as the stars of the Spain Men’s national team Fran Fernández and Alberto Munarriz.

Only four days after Palamós, we kicked off the third edition of the Barcelona International Turbo Cup, an international tournament held at the Montjuic Olympic Pool. 16 teams in the male 18U category and four in the senior women’s category took part, approximately 250 athletes from five different countries. CN Barcelona Vista in the men’s competition and CN Sant Feliu in the women’s competition were the champions of the Turbo Cup.

HaBaWaBa Spain

As a new event this year, BIWPA organized the first edition of the HaBaWaBa Spain – RFEN, held in Barcelona alongside the 33rd European Championships. The top tournament for youth ages worldwide was a success in its first edition in Spain, with the participation of 44 teams from nine countries and more than 600 water polo players.

 

Photo: Aerial image of Palamós beach (Girona), during the 2nd edition of the Beach Water Polo. 

At the end of October, BIWPA made an undeniable leap of quality. The participation of a crew of BIWPA in the International Tournament, organized by the historic Greek NO Vougliameni in their own home, has been & is a milestone.

The fact that fourteen young Catalans, from different clubsfour of them from our own Academy-, had the opportunity to travel & compete with renowned sports organizations in Europe, is something extraordinary & unique until now. Not only because of the experience they have had, but because it makes us grow beyond sports.

The idea of creating a water polo project rose up after London 2012. A project where the young from all over the world could come to Barcelona to progress & improve their water polo, had a giant step at the end of the indicated date. Now, BIWPA is not just a company that is dedicated through the campus & the Academy to accompany the promises with their performance in this sport. We have demonstrated that we have the ability to reinvent ourselves and to go to a tournament with the mentioned characteristics as an own entity. Over there, where the clubs haven’t been able to reach due to different circumstances, we have tried to cover the void.

In this way, we also try to give back, within our possibilities, the work that clubs do in the training & formation of the players, the effort & talent of the players with a certain future and, above all, to return to this sport and to the people who have helped us in this process, all kindness and care we have received over these years from those who have formed part of this project directly and indirectly.

The preparation for the tournament

 As the result of which, the trip was a complete sporting & institutional success. The congratulatory messages received by the organizers and other participating teams was all a praise & compliment. In addition to the good play demonstrated & the exemplary behavior of our players, we were also recognized for having the ability of joining different players of great quality from different clubs to BIWPA: CN Catalunya, CN Molins de Rei, Cn Sant Feliu, CN Montjüic, CN Rubí, CN Poble Nou & CN Olot. Here we express our gratitude to them for their facilities.

The challenge was enormous from the very first moment.  Under the direction of our Technical Director, Quim Colet, we wanted to make this quality leap in the best possible way. Result of his previous period of life, as the Technical Director of the Catalan Swimming Federation & of a whole life dedicated to this sport, Quim Colet knew perfectly, for one reason or another, which players could fit within a strong & competitive team and could take advantage of this opportunity. Added to his water polo knowledge at an international level, he was the most indicated person to lead this team and obtain the best possible result.

First and foremost, competitives

The chosen players were: ten players added to the four that belong to our Academy. Captained by Víctor Andrade from CN Molins de Rei & directed by Quim Colet, the tournament was complicated since the very first match against the historic Greek Olympiakos. A benchmark in the Hellenic country and in Europe. A result of 14-9 led the rest of rivals to believe that BIWPA presented a competitive team. The mini-league of classification followed the same pattern as the rest of competitions. Victorias against el Faliro (8-6), Vougliameni B (1-19) y Hellas SK (1-16). But the Cross brackets were a different story.

The semifinal against the strong Savona, one of the most ´piu forte´ teams of Italia, directed by an entire institution in the Pallanuoto, like is Claudio Mistrangelo, got us out of the final. With a result of 7-9, the BIWPA team were combative until the end, facing one of the strongest of the tournament, and finally, won the competition.

The fight for the third place was also complicated, facing the Olympiakos. Despite falling by a single goal (9-8), the fact of having placed against the difficult situation, facing one of the European clubs whose reserve of young players is recognized for its prestige, was already, by itself, meritorious.

Víctor Fernández (14), Alex Royo (13), Jordi Gascón (11) and Albert Ponferrada (10), were the team´s top scorers. The two goalkeepers, Eric Domíngues & Ahmad Perez had minutes in equal parts and stood out of the safety they gave the team in every moment.

To conclude, thank the Organization of the tournament and specially, to the coach of N.O. Vouliagmeni, Spiros Boulougouras.

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.

quim-colet
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

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

max-vernet-waterpolo

Hi! I’m Max Vernet Schweimer, a 19 year old Spanish water polo player. By now, I live in Barcelona. I started practicing this sport at the age of 7 and I have always been playing for Spanish clubs.

During summer 2014, my life experienced a big change. The San Diego Shores Water Polo Club was doing a Team Training Camp in Barcelona organized by BIWPA. The academy knew about my interest to travel to the USA to play water polo there and they informed me about the opportunity to contact this club. BIWPA managed for me a training with the Shores and introduced me to the coaches while they were in Barcelona. After staying in touch with the Shores’ staff to organize the whole trip, I finally could make it to San Diego in July 2014.

I was in California for three weeks, training and playing tournaments with the San Diego Shores. One of the competitions I played is called Junior Olympics (JO’s), which is one of the most important water polo events in the USA. There, all the young water polo players from the country gather and play against each other to become 1st of the Nation with their team. You also have the opportunity to talk to coaches from American colleges and universities there. Being part of that was absolutely incredible!

Traveling is a beautiful experience, but if you do it alone and with a concrete purpose, it’s even better. At the beginning it was a bit difficult for me to adapt to the lifestyle. American water polo is pretty much different to Spanish water polo and I needed some time to get used to it. But, in my opinion, seeing other water polo styles enriches you mentally and makes you a better player. I also had the chance to visit new places which I had never seen before and to meet wonderful people who I hope to see again some day. It was just amazing!

I would like to thank all the people who made this journey possible. First of all, thanks to BIWPA and the whole staff of the San Diego Shores Water Polo Club who helped me to arrange everything. A big hug for friends, players, families and coaches for what they did for me when I was there. They made me feel like home in every moment! And finally, I want to thank my parents who always support me in any decision I make and without them anything of this would have been possible.

Max Vernet Schweimer

water-polo-singapur
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.
biwpa basterra

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.

Turbo Foto

Since decades, Turbo Company has been a synonym of Water polo. Pro Recco, Atlètic Barceloneta, Croaca, Serbia, Spain, Team USA, etc. Their products are used by the best and their work has prompted that nowadays water polo players can be represented by one Brand and they can feel catered. Through this reportage we will know this Catalan Company a bit further and a lot of anecdotes and curiosities from the hand of Alex Massó and Clara Massó, CEO of Turbo and communication responsible respectively.

The Origin

Turbo is, from it beginning, a familiar Company directed by the Massó family. It is a Brand used by most of the big teams and national teams around the world. Their origins are a bit unknown by the Young people. It was founded during the second half of the last century, this familiar Company produced elastic clothing. Their success was immediate but, in the middle of the 80’s, and because of the severe crisis that Spain lived, the Company went bankrupt.

Next year they raised from the ashes and returned to stay with more strength having like the flagship product the swimsuits. It wasn’t until the end of the 80’s and the beginning of the 90’s when the competition swimsuits were first created.

The germ of most of the suits that nowadays the water polo players use, has own name: Umberto Panerai. An Italian goalkeeper of Settebello team that was also the first Water polo Techincal Director of the Catalan federation. With him the possibility of creating the first water polo swimsuit arises thanks to his orientations about what did the players need.

The prototype was a great success and helped to open a whole horizon of expectations. Here arises a second main character: Manel Alled. With his help, they enlisted the help of the global star of the moment Manel Estiarte. Together with Daniel Ballart, Victor García and Marc Barahona, they collaborated to create the first Turbo catalog.

Thanks to their success, next year was the own Manel Estiarte who starred the catalog. Actually, he helped with the gradual opening of the Italian market to Turbo.

A qualitative leap

On the next few years, Turbo focused on deepening on the Water polo providing to players and coaches all the material they needed. But if there is a key date for Alex Massó and Turbo it was the Barcelona World Championship in 2003. That year, the most well known brands refused to participate in the world championship so FINA, and because of the need of sponsors, they decided to Shell in sections the sponsorship.

Thanks to that, Turbo could make a jump on its history because of being part on the world championship in Barcelona like the sponsor of the Water polo. Such a milestone for this familiar Company. A remarkable fact that helped them to get more contact with the outside and establish itself as the benchmark in Waterpolo.

The present

Familia MassóSince then, Turbo has continued with the dynamics of internationalization. Nowadays, the 65% of the sales are made outside Spain, being USA, Italy and France the main markets. Alex Massó admits something, and is that on the latest years, some different brands in Spain have grown and that is because of the excessive internationalization of Turbo that have forget a Little bit the national market. But today, one of the main objectives of Turbo is to get the presence in Spain back. The result of which has been that some teams have returned to Turbo.

In that way, supporting initiatives -such as tournaments- , that promote waterpolo has been an important point for Turbo. BIWPA is probably one of the examples. Since the beginning Turbo has collaborated with our water polo camps and the guys from the Academy have always used Turbo products.

Finally, the success of Turbo and by consequence Massó family, has been consacrating over the years until becoming one of the brands by excellence in the world of Water polo thanks to the quality of their swimsuits manufactured only in Spain. A familiar Company with a past, a present, and especially, FUTURE.

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.
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