All posts tagged Waterpolo

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)

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

More than 600 kids and 44 teams from 9 countries met at the Montjuïc Olympic Pool (Barcelona)

After 11 editions in Italy, three in Greece and other four in North America, it was Spain and Barcelona’s turn, with a very special first edition. The first HaBaWaBa Spain arrived in Barcelona running alongside the 33rd European Water Polo Championships.

During four days, the Montjuïc Municipal Pool became the festival’s splendid venue. The Royal Swimming Spanish Federation (RFEN) trusted Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) for the organization of the event, which gathered 44 teams -36 U12 and 8 U10- from 9 different nationalities. Among the 44 teams, 27 where Spanish. Italy, Hungary, Malta, The Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, France and Egypt were the other countries represented.

BIWPA was up to a festival that goes far beyond the competition and the results. As indicated by its acronym (Happy Baby Water Ball), the HaBaWaBa is a unique experience for all participants with water polo, fun and learning.

More than 600 young players had four amazing days of water polo and fun, with animation activities, fair play workshops and exciting matches at the Europeans. The Hungary-Italy (5-12), the Montenegro-Spain (7-7) in the men’s competition, or the Greece-Holland (7-8) and the Spain-Russia (12-11) in women’s were some of the best.

From July 18th to 21st , the stands at the Bernat Picornell pools were full of HaBaWaBa kids. Between 300 and 400 participants dropped by the Europeans venue and proved that passion for water polo is more alive than ever.

In the Village area at the Europeans, before the matches, HaBaWaBa’s mascot Rock & Pop and Barcelona 2018’s mascot Wopit were waiting for the kids to make the wait more pleasant with some music and dancing. Of course, Katy Perry’s Swish Swish was the top hit.

The former centre-forward Iván Pérez and former Spain Women’s national team player Laura López were the two HaBaWaBa Spain ambassadors. The legend Ratko Rudic didn’t miss the event either. But the best surprise for all participants was the visit of Spain Men and Women’s national teams. The current silver and bronze medallists took hundreds of pictures and signed autographs for the HaBaWaBa kids.

Hegemony for CNB

Quim Colet, one of the important figures of the water polo model in Spain, led the organization of the competition, in which Club Natació Barcelona (Spain) claimed first place in both categories, U10 and U12. In the U10 tournament, CN Barcelona beat UE Horta ‘Taurons’ (Spain) at the final (6-5), while CN Poble Nou (Spain) finished in third place.

In the U12 category, teams were divided into three different divisions (Bronze, Silver and Gold) after the first stage, so nine teams won an award. CN Barcelona, Posillipo ‘Coccodrilli’ (Italy) and KSI ‘Blue Sharks’ from Budapest reached the podium in this order.

In the Silver Division, YBL Waterpolo Club (Hungary) finished in first place, followed by CN Rubí and Askartza Claret from Spain. Aquatica Torino (Italy) beat Pallanuoto Salerno (Italy) in the Bronze Division final, while CN Helios (Spain) were third.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2019

The Spanish Swimming Federation has congratulated BIWPA on the organization of the HaBaWaBa Spain and they are already in talks to decide place and dates for next year’s edition.

 

Some pictures from the festival, by Pfotoàlbums (more here):

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

HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018

The well-known water polo festival for kids HaBaWaBa will be hosted in Barcelona in July 2018, at the Olympic Montjuïc Municipal Pool

A couple of months ago, Waterpolo Development, the association that owns the HaBaWaBa brand, and the Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN), came to a collaboration agreement to bring the HaBaWaBa festival to Spain. Both parties formed this partnership with a clear objective: the promotion of water polo in Spain at the earliest ages. In addition, the RFEN wants to turn Barcelona into the epicenter of European water polo during the 2018 summer.

The 33rd LEN European Championships will take place at the Picornell Olympic Pool and HaBaWaBa, the most well-known water polo festival for 10U and 12U kids, will be located very close at the same Montjuïc Mountain. The two events will happen simultaneously, which will increase the number of people present in both pools.

In order to make this project come true, the RFEN and Waterpolo Development have trusted in Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) for the planning and organization of it. HaBaWaBa is one of the water polo tournaments for kids with more visibility and scalability in the world.

BIWPA was founded in 2014 as a project of excellence and quality to form young water polo players at all athletic, human and intellectual levels. Nowadays, it is much more than that. BIWPA has also organized training camps for teams all over the world, camps for kids and tournaments. The company is already working closely with the Organizing Comittee of the European Championships to make HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018 a great success and a potential precedent for future editions of the festival across Spain.

After having been organized a multiple times in Greece and Montreal, the festival born in Italy arrives to Barcelona with a unique edition that has big expectations. In fact, there are plenty of reasons that lead us to think that it will be a complete success.

Both swimming pools are conveniently located at the Montjuic mountain, which will facilitate the attendance to both events. In addition, Barcelona is one of the cities that attracts more tourists in the world. Finally, the brand HaBaWaBa is one of the most powerful and consolidated in the water polo world, and it is growing more and more every year: 132 teams took part in the last edition of the festival in Italy.

 

HaBaWaBa Barcelona 2018

Left to right: Felipe Perrone, Bea Ortiz, Cristina Marín (BIWPA), Àngel Moliner (WP2018BCN), Clara Espar, Anni Espar, Enric Bertrán (president Catalan Swimming Federation), and Daniel López Pinedo, supporting HaBaWaBa Barcelona from Beach Polo Palamos.

18 teams, 4 countries and 4 days of non-stop water polo in an Olympic facility with a view of Barcelona

The iconic Montjuïc municipal swimming pool hosted for second year the 2nd edition of the Barcelona International Turbo Cup, a great setting where youths can show all their potential in water polo. Local teams, as well as other European teams coming from England, Italy, and Hungary participated in a tournament that comes in very handy to get ready for the start of the season. Besides, three teams with players from different parts of the world took part in the Turbo Cup as BIWPA teams. One of the main attractions of this year’s edition was the women’s category, with 6 teams.

Ferencvaros TC repeated as winners for second time. In the final, they faced Club Natació Barcelona, a squad diminished by the dropouts of players with commitments with the national team. CNB was able to defeat Ferencvaros TC before the final by 4-8, in a match marked by the harshness of the Hungarian team.

BIWPA TURBO CUP-723

CN Sant Feliu and Exeter WP, 1st and 2nd place / PFotoàlbums

In the final, the final outcome was different and CNB paid for the lack of substitutes. The Catalan team played the whole tournament with 1 and 2 changes. In the final, it had to play more than one quarter with only one change. The Catalans ended up succumbing to the Hungarians, who clinched the final by 9-8. BIWPA Yellow team formed by members of several campus organized by BIWPA, beat NC Monza by 7-8, with a last-minute goal, and finished in 3rd place.

In the female category, Exeter Water Polo played an immaculate tournament, without conceding a single point on the way to the final. However, CN Sant Feliu managed to beat the English team in the penalty shootout, after a thrilling game and an endless series of penalties. In the end, 10 (15) – 10 (16) for Sant Feliu. In the bronze match, CN Catalunya defeated Dunaujvaros FVE (9-11), after having previously lost against the Hungarians (10-7). Dunaujvaros ended in a very meritorious 4th place, taking into account that they had some players of 10 years old.

Two players from CNB, regardless of losing the final, were awarded MVP and best goalkeeper of the tournament: the leftie Guillem Frigola and Unai Aguirre. As for the women’s category, Exeter’s goalkeeper Sophie Jackson was named best goalie, while Nadia Fernández, CN Sant Feliu player, was awarded the MVP trophy.

The countdown to the 3rd Turbo Cup has already started. Stay tuned!

Link to pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/biwpa/albums/72157686645210734

MEN TC

WOMEN TC

One month prior to the start, the Beach Polo has almost 20 teams registered and a remarkable international presence

The first edition of the beach-water polo tournament Beach Polo Costa Brava was presented last Friday (July 28th) in Palamós beach “Platja Gran”. Members of the city council and local media outlets attended the event in which Cristina Marín, General Manager of BIWPA, and Joel Esteller, coordinator of the tournament, presented the Beach Polo and talked about the details of it. The mayor of Palamós, Lluís Puig, stressed the importance of hosting an event of such characteristics for the development and the economy of the city.

One month ahead of the kick off, almost twenty teams have already signed up. Roughly half of them are coming from different countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Russia. There are also teams from other regions in Spain like the Basque Country and Galicia. Finally, some of the squads are formed by a mix of different players currently playing in Catalonia or Spain and even a team mixed with Spanish and American players.There will be a squad formed by players of Club Natació Barcelona, Spanish top division team.

Beach Polo Team

BIWPA and Palamós, joining hands for the Beach Polo

The venue will have two different areas. The first area will be located right in front of the sea and the water polo arena. From this area, the referees and BIWPA coordinators will take care of everything related to the competition and the games. Next to it, there will be another marquee with different kinds of drinks for the participants.

The second area will be situated in the back, where BIWPA will place different marquees for the cafeteria and another zone with merchandising, with the presence of brands that support the event such as Turbo, Powerade, Coca Cola, Estrella Damm, Boirón, Freixenet or Frit Ravich. In the middle of the two main areas, there will be a chill-out zone with tables, chairs, sun umbrellas and music for the athletes to rest or hang out.

The tournament will last 3 days, from September 1 (Friday) to September 3 (Sunday). On Saturday, different top water polo players will come as guests. Felipe Perrone, one of the best water polo players of the moment, will come over in Palamós. Besides, the three world runners-up in Budapest, Anni Espar, Clara Espar, and Bea Ortiz, will also visit us.

The schedule will be released in the next weeks, when the inscriptions close.

Teams registered so far:
  • UC Davis: two women’s teams (U.S.)
  • Lyon Rhone Water Polo (France)
  • Paris Aquatic (France)
  • Verona (Italy)
  • Moscu State University (Russia)
  • ZPC Wiekslag: men’s and women’s team (The Netherlands)
  • Z&PC Watervlo (The Netherlands)
  • Catalan team
  • Catalan team
  • Club Natació Barcelona (Catalonia)
  • AESE (Catalonia)
  • Eibarko Urbat I.K.E.: men’s and women’s team (Spain)
  • Real Club Náutico de Vigo (Spain)
  • C.D. Fortuna K.E. (Spain)
  • Mixed Spanish and American team

They had already made history getting into the top 4 after defeating Greece on penalties. But yesterday, with a great performance against Canada (12-10), the Spanish warriors showed their eagerness for more medals and clinched a spot on the final of the World Championships.

Spain dominated the game from start to finish, except for the last minutes of the fourth quarter, when Canada made a comeback up to 10-9, 4 minutes before the final whistle. Ana Gual and Bea Ortiz, as well as the goalkeeper Laura Ester, were the most valuable players of Miki Oca’s squad.

The defense that worked so well for Canada to defeat the Hungary, turned out a failure against Spain. The Spaniards realized from the first moment that one of the Canadian defenders was acting as second gatekeeper, leaving one Spanish player alone. Canada never took into account how good is Spain at long-distance shoots and Ortiz and Gual capitalized on that with 3 and 5 goals respectively.

Players that don’t usually have an important role scoring goals, stepped forward in this aspect. That was the case of Marta Bach or Clara Espar, who scored one goal each and paved the way of our warriors towards the final.

The United States is the very last obstacle until the gold medal. Next Friday at 20:30, the Spanish warriors will face the though American squad for second time on this World Championships. This time, though, they expect a different outcome, with the clear intention of repeating the gold medal that that they got 4 years ago in Barcelona. Yesterday’s victory positions Spain as the best team in Europe once again.

The Men’s team finished 9th place after defeating Japan (13-11). David Martin’s squad still has a lot more room for improvement. Next big challenge will be next year in the LEN European Championships in Barcelona.

 

Photo credit: FINA

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.

The water polo player Anni Espar (Barcelona, 1993), who is currently playing for CN Sabadell and the Spanish National Team, has signed a contract with BIWPA and she will be our new brand ambassador.

The Catalan player has always been involved with all of BIWPA’s projects, both in Summer Camps and the Academy, where she regularly attends to perform master classes with our athletes.

“BIWPA has always seemed to be a company with very interesting projects and passionate employees about water polo, just like me. That’s why I have always been interested in helping them grow and improve in any possible way”, says Anni.

With BIWPA, Anni Espar has the opportunity to share her knowledge with young water polo players who want to learn and improve their techniques, something that she finds to be “a great and brilliant idea”.

New challenges

At the end of this year, the Catalan player will leave Barcelona for Sydney, where she will be playing water polo in the University of Sydney team, in addition to finishing her studies.

“I look forward to new experiences and being able to continue growing both as a player and as a person. I have a strong desire to go to Australia to compete with one of the best teams and to continue learning from new coaches, new peers and teammates, etc. While I’m there, I will be playing for the Sydney University and simultaneously I will finish my studies in Business Administration. I will have some extra time which I plan to take advantage of by traveling & by creating a BIWPA Campus there, affirms the Catalan player.

Anni Espar had a similar experience in the United States of America where she won the NCAA title with the University of Southern California: “I lived one of the best experiences in the USA while I played for USC for a year and I learned a lot”.

For BIWPA, it’s a great privilege to count on one of the best players in Europe, named the best water polo player of 2012 by LEN and Silver Medal in London 2012.

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Last week, BIWPA, represented by Yuri Colet, participated in some conferences dedicated to the training of water polo technicians, thanks to the invitation of the Swedish Federation.

Yuri Colet attended the conference as a guest, invited to a symposium in Stockholm, organized by the Swedish Swimming Federation for all aquatic disciplines. The National Body was pursuing the goal of deepening the required knowledge in forming water polo basis, at technical and tactical level, for collective and individual games.

The day was a real success. Among the public there were different profiles, from the technician with many years of experience behind them, to young ones who were beginning to be trained and formed. “The truth is that the dynamic was very positive, in every moment there was a good participation and any doubt and question of the attendees was dissipated”, describes Yuri Colet who values very well the opportunity of this offered knowledge &, who doesn’t discard at all the possibility of the repetition of this invitation for the BIWPA.

The appointment to which attended Yuri Colet as the co-founder of BIWPA, had its origins in the Team Train Camp that the Swedish team SK Neptune carried out 2 years ago. The Greek technician, Alexandros Vlastos was delighted and as its results, a professional relationship was established.

It also coincides, with an important moment for BIWPA, as this summer, continuing with the implemented philosophy in our Academy which helps the players to grow their skills in the game, the horizon that the technicians can also participate in our programs has been opened. In this way, they can continue to grow and increase in their knowledge and therefore, professionally in their respective areas in which they can carry out their task.

The interships are an innovative instrument in its field which is already bearing its fruit as could be seen this summer with the participation of different technicians. Following this training methodology, Yuri Colet went to Stockholm trying to transfer the knowledge which is being applied in different services of which BIWPA is making use.

crisyuri

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