All posts tagged federació catalana natació

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

Xavi, I have to tell you. You’re a classic in water polo. How did you start this love affair with water polo?

Thanks for the classic comment! Well, maybe, yes … I’ve been a player, coach, technical director and president of a club. I’ve played in all divisions of state water polo and I have also trained in all the divisions; great male and female and players. Thirty-odd years of romance with water polo.

My start was somewhat atypical. After practicing some sports, including swimming, one day at the Sabadell Swim Club I ran across veterans from a water polo team working out. They lacked goalkeeper and so I jumped in, certainly fortunately, lol … and from there I went on to train with the kids my age and in a short time started playing in the junior category and the Absolute team. It was about 1983 or ’84, and water polo snagged me for life.

Like everyone, you would have started in the water. What are your memories of that period of your life?

Well, I started swimming when I was 8 or 9 years old at the Badia facilities; newly built, but after a couple of years I fractured my arm (humerus bone), and I took a year off. After a while, I opted for football and tennis, but I had already acquired a basis to play water polo. My memories are of the mythical and now defunct “Muni” of Sabadell with his balloon. Training with Jordi Molet, Llorenç Carbo and with many players who currently are still some of my best friends, such as Pere Carrasco, Marc Alcón, Antoni Nouvilas or Joan Manel Xiberta.

When did you decide to pass from the water to the bench?

The first team I coached was the absolute feminine team the Sant Feliu Swimming Club, back in ’90. When I left the Sabadell team, I ended up in A-2 (now First) in Sant Feliu. There they proposed that I combined being the goalkeeper of the team with coaching the Women’s team and I accepted the challenge. They were two seasons in which I learned a lot and I liked being a coach. And I have never looked back. But you always feel like a player. Last season I played 1st division Catalan meetings with the absolute A from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).. against the kids who I now train!

What teams have you trained and what anecdotes could you tell us that you remember fondly?

I will recount in chronological order: Sant Feliu Swimming Club – Absolute Feminine, UAB Waterpolo – Absolute Masculine and Absolute Feminine, Sabadell Swimming Club – Absolute Masculine and Absolute Feminine and now, Poble Nou Swimming Club – Absolute Masculine and Masculine Cadet. Also, during my eight years in Sabadell I was also assistant coach with the junior teams, both masculine and feminine.

My best moments in water polo so far undoubtedly have been in the UAB Waterpolo Club. We created a club of friends with whom we came to play the First Division, playing there many seasons. I lived very intensely: as player, coach, president, managing the economy with the vice president Ermengol Llorenç … The anecdotes are endless, both in and out of the water: incredible results in relation to our structure, organized trips thinking about the after-match … and a philosophy of waterpolo that is unparalleled throughout state water polo. I should write a book!

But there is something I must tell you, that’s romantic, which is when I was coach of Sant Feliu Swim Club Feminine Team, I met a player, Olga, who I married, and she’s still is my wife. We have two children who also have become addicted to the pools. The best of water polo, haha!

Surely your great leap so far has been the Sabadell Swim Club, where you directed the absolute women’s draw …

Yes, I passed from a sensational club of friends, to accepting a professional challenge in the Club of my entire life. It was 4 years of sporting success winning 3 leagues, 2 Queen cups, reaching an F4 in the LEN Cup. We created, alongside Mateo Celma, Pere Carrasco and Toni Sánchez, all the feminine structure base of the club, and that allowed us to practically renew the entire great team we had for a very young team, which has been the basis of both Sabadell Swim Club (CNS) and the Spanish selection. They were bad times for resources and recognition of women’s water polo, but I always remember the selfless spirit and ability of work and sacrifice of that group of excellent players. Hence I took another leap at that big moment, to the Sabadell Absolute Masculine team. It was 2007.

Later you assumed the technical direction of the CNS but it did not quite jell. Why?

I collated the Technical Directorate of CNS with the post of coach of the Absolute Masculine Team for 4 years. I accepted it because it was a great dream for me. Imagine, your Club presents you the dream project. For the first time I became a full time professional. We built a project together with Pere Carrasco, who shared coaching and Technical Department duties with me, Marc Alcon as a manager responsible for the section, key managers such as Claudi Martí and a team of highly qualified coaches, basically from the Club.

The project for the masculine team was simple, but required time and patience: To provide continuity to our base-grown players to fill the absolute team with them, and for the wheel to continue rolling. In addition we would facilitate and promote their education. We wanted to create a strong Sabadell  Swim Club DNA with magnificent existing resources.

Thus, we gave meaning to our water resources, our Santa Clara School and our potential in categories (in 2008 we won all the championships of Spain of ages and we were youth champions in 2008, 09 and 10). In order to achieve that we became more flexible in technical hierarchies, we created tools and resources for our players (like the team B in 1st and 2nd Division, flexitime for studies, grants, etc.), we gave them a place in our absolute Divisón de Honor (top league in Spain) (DH), we showed them the way and instilled in them the CNS DNA. We did not want to be eternally condemned to sign up players to be up there and be proud of the fruits of labor of education of all our structures (technical, managerial and social).

In the women’s project we set a roadmap to be the best team in Europe. There was a very big “niche” there and we had to take advantage of that.

On a sporting level, the results were excellent: success in all age categories, a very competitive absolute masculine team with great recruitment of young players from the Club, a women’s team that was sweeping Spain and the European champion.

Economically we optimized and rationalized resources. In 2003, 10 persons were taking in 80% of a big budget. In 2011, redistribution had largely benefitted the feminine team, athletes and the technical base.

Everything evolved according to the objectives set, but sometimes in sport decisions are not made based on an analysis of validity of a project and of professionalism and the results of work; and unfortunately all the people who were part of this exciting project had to leave it in the middle of 2011.

This summer you are back to the bench after a period in which you have remained on the sidelines…

Well yes! The disappointment was huge in 2011 and I moved away from it a bit. I needed a “cure” from water polo and serious reflection. I studied a Master of Sports Business Administration at the UB and disconnected. But gradually I turned to engage in water polo, first W. UAB, after that with BIWPA and now coaching at Poble Nou Swim Club.

In June, a good friend and old salt in water polo, Joan Colomer, called and said that Poble Nou intended to continue with the waterpolo in a new work project with the base and with an absolute amateur and that he would be there. He asked if I felt like joining in. I was thrilled, stung by the water polo bug. I had a meeting with Jordi Homs, President, and found it a very good proposal. That left me only to get the ok from my family, but as they already know me, it seemed immediately clear to them.

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It has been a summer of rumors about Poble Nou. How have you lived?

Initially I distanced myself from the situation of the club, with the news coming about the possible resignation at DH and the possibility of water polo in general being seriously affected. I thought that situation was a shame for our waterpolo. When I agreed with Jordi I joined, and it was always clear that the part of base teams and all amateur would continue, no matter what happened with the professional team. The club has tried to find resources up to the last minute to follow the DH, but has not been successful.

What project awaits this Club with Xavi Balaguer in charge, and what technical team are you counting on to carry it out?

Well, the control is a matter of teamwork with Joan, and I will bring my expertise and experience to this exciting challenge in a historic club.

The club has undergone many changes of players in all categories. The situation of uncertainty that it has lived through for a time has made many athletes opt to go to other clubs, but we have registered 7 competing teams, covering all categories of waterpolo for this season. This shows that our commitment for the base is firm although we don’t have an excess of kids. The project moves to stabilize the various club teams in terms of number of players and provide reliability and quality to our training. We will become a training club of athletes and people which kids will not only not want to leave, but they will want to come to us.

We have 3 highly skilled technicians in a mixture of experience and youth: Joan Colomer who needs no introduction, with the little ones; Marc Martinez, a young coach looking forward to the experience; and myself with the older ones.

Moving on to BIWPA. You are a key pillar of this project. What is your role?

First, I’d like to say that I am very grateful to the trust Cristina, the authentic engine of BIWPA, and Yuri have placed in me from day one. I think I have a very BIWPA profile and because of my training and experience I am very cross-sectional and I can occupy and I do occupy different functions. In BIWPA I take care of the Technical Department, and that means training tasks and campus direction coach, and some tasks at the Academy. Lately I’m more oriented as manager of foreign teams in the Training Camps and as head of the large collaboration project with the Dutch Federation.

The arrival of foreign teams and the Academy make BIWPA pretty unique in the world.

The BIWPA concept is awesome. It has covered an essential gap in our sport. I have lived through the birth of the project from day one and I’ve always believed in it. In times of crisis and abuse at all levels to “second fiddle” waterpolo, an initiative arising  like BIWPA  is priceless. I think BIWPA complements the great work that the clubs do every day with a series of projects and high quality services such as Camp and Training Camps for teams. But I would highlight the Academy as innovative. From responsibility, professionalism and passion we offer a number of services that undoubtedly benefit our waterpolo with many synergies with federations, clubs and athletes. Other sports have had similar initiatives for years. Over time I think you will see the true importance and dimension BIWPA, here and in the world of international water polo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My experience at the BIWPA camp was phenomenal. My daily routine was drastically changed in the best way possible. I went to sleep and woke up at a great time, I ate balanced meals, and I drank Isostar which is a protein shake that allowed my body to work at it’s full potential. My routines for exercise in and out of the pool changed too. I wasn’t the only person going through these changes. I have teammates from Brazil, Italy, Denmark, France, and all over the world that were with me. I learned from the coaches but I also learned from the playing style of my peers. But all good things must come to an end and July 11th was that day.

Biwpa Camp

Barcelona Biwpa Camp./ Foto: Eduard Omedes

Luckily for me, my Water Polo adventures were not over yet. The day my flight landed in New Jersey I had practice for my club in Princeton. We were preparing for Junior Olympics which were scheduled in California in early August. Our training intensity increased but I felt very confident in my abilities since I had just come from BIWPA. I was in very good swimming shape when I came back, and I felt ready for JO’s. When it came time to play the first game in California I stretched a lot and used the resistance band I got at the camp. I stretched using the techniques that ……… taught us at the camp and I’ve been doing that for every game I play. When it came to actually playing in the water, since I learned drives that were effective and quick, I had way more opportunities to shoot and attack. On one of the days there I found out that my friend Lucia was playing. I hadn’t seen her since the camp, but we chose a meeting place and got to see each other again. I realized how much I missed we and everyone else from the camp, but I don’t worry too much because I’m hoping to go back next year.

Anni Espar Llaquet (Barcelona , January 8, 1993 ) is one of the most valuable players in water polo’s world water; for that reason she was chosen as the best European player of 2012 by the LEN.

She started to play, when she was very young, at CE Mediterrani.  Then she combined swimming and water polo training, because Mediterrani makes children play both sports, until the kids grow up and choose one of them.

At that time, Anni also played basketball at school so she was playing three sports at once. But at 14 years she was in turning point:  she was offered the chance to train in the  Sant Cugat’s CAR  with a grant from the FC de Natació, so definitively she choose water polo as her sport.

In season 2009/2010 signed for the  CN Sabadell team, with sham she won all major titles : several Queen’s cups, 3  Spanish and a European Super Cup. An enviable list of triumphs which proves the high level of  this young water polo player .

Currently and since 2010, the Catalan plays with the Spanish international selection. At this category, Anni was proclaimed world champion at the 2013 Barcelona World Championships, and she also have been silver medallist in the 2012 Olympic Games, where her involvement was decisive to achieve so successful medal.

With the Spanish U-20 team, Anni won the gold medal at the 2011 Junior World Championships , and she also won the silver in 2013 , which was a new sample of  this talented athlete.

In the 2012/13 seasons, she won a scholarship to study at the University of Southern California in the U.S., where she joined the USC Trojans water polo team, which has been proclaimed as the NCAA’s champion team in 2013.

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Anni Espar, Silver medal in London 2012

Anni Espar’s successful athletic career, along with her human qualities, makes this player an exceptional ambassador for the BIWPA’s Easter Camp, the water polo campus which will be held during the Easter holidays in the CAR . Nobody like her to explain, convey and support the essential role that these type of initiatives,  such as the Easter Camp’s program or the  CAR, play on many of the best water polo players’ careers .

Anni told us: ” One of the best times of my life was certainly my unforgettable stay in Sant Cugat’s CAR. It was a unique experience and highly recommended. The environment around you is nice, both the treatment of coaches, teachers, like other colleagues or athletes. The values ​​I learned during that time have helped me to grow as a better player and person. The possibility to combine studies with sport is great, but it’s even better when you learn from it and enjoy it.

I want to thank BIWPA for this great initiative, which will not only promote our sport, but also to provide an opportunity for many people to live this good experience, that I’ve lived. ”

Anni Espar

Anni, Gold medal in BCN 2013

Definitely, at BIWPA’s we are all proud and honored to have the support of one of the greatest water polo players, not only in Spain also in the world. Thanks Anni, we cannot imagine a better ambassador for our Easter Camp than you.

At the beginning, I thought to talk about water polo as a sport with ephemeral success or about less social and media impact, but I am not going to appeal or complain for that, because I think this feeling should be put it behind. The point is that we are stronger because we are different, unique, and besides, we’re good. We cannot talk about minority sport attending the successful results (not only in recent seasons, but also past 2 decades), the outburst of women’s water polo, the number of clubs competing at lower levels and their technical improvement, the amazing coaching, etc. Of course we can improve more than that but this is not our feeling, at least in Catalonia where we work to be better every single day. We do things to go forward, not backwards.

If we take a look back, we find a golden 2013 year in terms of results, especially the female team: April 27th, CN Sabadell female proclaimed European Clubs Champion in Hungary, after a hellish environment in semifinals. On August 2nd, in Bernat Picornell pools in Barcelona, the Spanish Women National Team was, for the first time ever, World Champion, amid a frenzied crowd. The 25th of the same month, in Volos, Greece, the Spanish Juniors made silver medal in the World U20. And, to finish the round, the youngest, the sub17, 2 weeks later, on September 8th, made silver medal in Europe sub17 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Shortly and concisely speaking, the women’s water polo season has been spectacular. And if you take a look a little further back in time, we will see that this success is the result of a really hard work. Female silver medal in the London Olympics 2012, Female World Junior Champion in Trieste (Italy), and the silver medal the male Junior team in Greece in 2011. In the summer, the female sub17 made ​​3rd Europe in Madrid, and the male sub17 made also 3rd in Rijeka (Croatia), plus of the 1st European Cup Women won by CN Sabadell. I’ll throw no further to the head, but enough has been achieved in terms of medals and finals and semifinals played. Besides, I only speak about international results, because nationwide successes are indisputable for our water polo. And I speak for all water polo without recognizing gender or age.

Ferran Plana

Ferran in Portugalete 2014

My point of view is not to compare water polo with other sports, because everyone is working to their fullest potential in terms of the (human and material) resources available, but if we look at other sports in our country, it seems difficult to find any other with same success in different categories and genres (I quote only basketball, year after year busting all medalists in men and women at all ages. BRAVO for them!).

These memories of recent times do nothing more than highlighting the results and translate the many, many hours of work and volume of desire and enthusiasm invested in our sport, water polo, both the players, the technical staff and many other people (to say the least, they do absolutely everything) that are responsible for implementing sports programs for clubs and federations.

The Spanish level has also risen, as well as the number of clubs and the overall development of water polo, but the Catalan level (which is actually the one I have more knowledge of)
has exponentially increased in recent years in terms of players, equipment, and technical structure.  A huge evolution.

A clear example of that was what happened on October 6th, coinciding with the Catalan Cup of the National League, where 43 catalan women water polo players, were rewarded for their amazing season 2012-2013 (yes!, you read well, 43!) for having been international medalists in the last season, on top of the 5 technicians who were part of the successful staffs (both in National teams and clubs). All these awards are just the tip of the spear of a sport in many places regarded as a minority, but that we consider different and unique, and that in Catalonia is very powerful and has a very good health at all ages and genders. And as far as I know,water polo is also spreading widely outside Catalonia (Basque Country, Navarra, Zaragoza and Sevilla, to cite clear examples), and scramble every day to grow in every way and without thinking whether they are better, lower or equal: they work hard. And we do too.

However, the economic situation is very, very tough. Clubs think how to get through their low incomes without dropping their investment, in my opinion, in the most important thing, the lower categories and the formation of new young players. On the other hand, the water polo Federation tries to fit this technical needs with the economic situation of the clubs (short distance commuting, short tournaments, intensification of the weekends…). Do not forget that there is always the main idea that we are “professionals” of water polo (this expression does not go with work hours, salary, etc, but it goes with the availability that each of us has). Finally this is a sport, a right and a pleasure. Just a few of us have the privilege of educating through sport.

Water polo

Ferran Plana-spanish seleccion U18

We would like to go out a lot more in the media, but don’t be naive … our country (Spain or Catalonia; I will not go into this debate) has no sports culture generally speaking. In fact, it just has a soccer culture! And the rest goes behind, because what people read, watch and talk about is soccer, sometimes about basketball and of course about Alonso and Nadal. This is it! The rest has to “compete” to appear rarely in the media. And if we briefly show up (due tonational and international events) it means that we are doing well, very well. Even when instantly the society forgets our effort, we keep working, just to reappear again, most of the times thanks to very engaged fans following our victories and showing how self-sacrificing this sport is. If during the season, “we catch” any article, any document, any cuts in a sports or news program, this is more than welcome! And believe me, on a smaller scale so many clubs, federations, associations, coaches and players have entered in the 2.0 age: Twitter, Facebook, profiles, blogs, web pages... with the main purpose to show up and to spread among all of us the information that we want. Although slowly, for sure these new tools are approaching to us to the rest of the world. 

To finish with, I hope that I have achieved my goal with these lines: leave the banners and prejudices that see us as a minority sport. No excuses and worries anymore, we want solutions. Instead of complaining, we should change and fit in. The only way is to work hardly, as other minority sports do. This is the only philosophy and way: feeling completely full and confident, so that step by step, we gradually achieve the same vision of those who watch us from “outside “.

The third edition of the Water polo Open TURBO Christmas Cup took place the last weekend. The success of the past editions allowed to open this tournament to U10COED.  For this reason the competition took place in two different places: in the CN Sabadell and in the CN Molins de Rei.

This year 42 water polo teams signed up The Christmas Cup and more than 500 players participated in it.  Most of the teams were from Catalonia but were also teams from the rest of Spain and even one from France: The Duaphines de Sete.  This kind of tournaments are keeping the water polo alive and allow to this young players to play their sport in a festive environment.

The main idea of The Christmas Cup was from the Federació Catalana  and TURBO, this one as a promoter. This year they work together with CN Sabadell and CN Molins de Rei to celebrate this successful event.

We asked the children who participated in the tournament why they play water polo and what does it mean for them to play the Turbo Christmas Cup and this is what they answered:

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Marc Valls

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Marc Valls 2003, CN Barcelona

I love practicing water polo because this sport taught to me a lot of important things in my life. I learnt what sacrifice means and this helped to me to get better results.

I’ve got a lot of friend to this sport because we share our emotions together. The Christmas Cup means to me the excitement to play in a important tournament against other teams and of course to won this edition was very cool. Water polo is amazing!!!!!

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Mar Navarro

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Mar Navarro 2002, Club Natació Sant Feliu

I’m playing water polo since I was 6. I enjoy playing with my teammates but to practice every day after school is not easy at all. I should organize my free time to do my homework and my to prepare the exams.
This edition is my third one. I improve my water polo skills and I like this tournament because I play against a several teams. I would like to participate the next year but that means that U14 must be included.

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Nacho Bargalló

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Ignasi Bargalló García 2003, CN Barcelona

“I grew up following my sisters in their games so water polo is part of my life since I was little. The Christmas Cup has been a great experience to me and I’m very happy!, It has been a two intense days because we played against a lot of teams. There were very exciting matches and to arrive to the final and win the tournament it was the best.”

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Max Omedes

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Max Omedes Ribas 2002, Centre Natació Mataró

“Water polo is a team sport you must play very attuned with the rest of your teammates. I feel more agile in the water than outside, definitely I am feeling more confortable in there.

This was my 3rd edition of the Christmas Cup. During two days water polo has been the principal fact not only for the matches also for sharing time with your teammates and other players and at the end to get the first place it’s the most exciting experience.!”

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Berta Pastor García

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Berta Pastor García 2004 , Club Natació Terrassa

“I love playing water polo because it’s fun. I really enjoy meeting my friends every day at the pool to play with them
The coolest thing of this competition is the amount of Catalonian teams who are participating, even one from Zaragoza. The greatest part has been to share this experience with my teammates from the CN Terrassa.”

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Año nacimiento 2002

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Unai Aguirre 2002, Portero de CN Barcelona

“It’s a great experience to share in two days the passion for our sport, I’ve played two editions of the Christmas Cup and this year I’ve also been lucky enough to win. This kind of tournaments to permit to keep this sport alive.”
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Pau Vilar

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Pau Vilar 2003, CN Barcelona

“Playing water polo with my friends is the best experience to me. I enjoyed a lot participating in the in the Christmas Cup and to do our best as a team. To play against several teams allowed to us to get more connected between us.”