All posts tagged guerreras

 

Our sport is experiencing a unique time for women.  The rise of women is notorious in recent years and the number of participants has grown exponentially. For that reason BIWPA, this summer wants to give more prominence to all those women that strive daily to improve their technique. From July 19th-25th, in the second week of water polo camps of CAR San Cugat will we count on Nani Guiu coach of CN Sabadell and three time European Champion, in addition to BIWPA coach and director of camps Yuri Colet.

But it doesn’t stop there. Also, we will count on the presence of several top-level players who have participated or are actively involved in the success of the Spanish water polo. So, every day, there will be a renowned player on the premises of CAR with BIWPA. Here are the women who will bring their expertise to the CAR Summer Camp:

 Ona Meseguer:

ona

Barcelona, 1988. She has been instrumental on the Spanish national team that has garnered much success lately. Gold in the 2014 European Championship of Budapest, gold in the 2013 World Championship of Barcelona and silver in the 2012 London Olympic Games. She is one of the most effective lefties in Spain who has experienced the best moments of an unforgettable generation. She is also is an essential pillar in her club Mataró and in her former club CE Mediterrani won the league title.

 Clara Gibson:

Ciara Gibson-Byrne

(Barcelona, 1992) Although from British parents, since she was little she has lived in Catalunya, where she has played in Mataró. She is a key player for the United Kingdom national team where she is the scorer. She was in the London Olympic Games, the 2012 European Championship and the 2013 World Championship where, it had been 15 years since the United Kingdom had classified.

 Anna Pardo:

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Barcelona, 1983. What to say about Anna, our last BIWPA interview. A player whose sports career is an adventure divided between U.S., Hungary and Spain.  She has an NCAA ring, 2nd place in the Hungarian League on two occasions, one Spanish League title and she was part of the first generation of Spanish women’s water polo that received the “passport” for the ADO grants. A prestigious player who has played in two continents.

 Anni Espar:

anniespar

Barcelona, 1993. What to say about the best player of the 2012 LEN. She has played in the United States where she triumphed and on her return to Spain she continues to reap success with her club CN Sabadell, three-time European Champion, among other national titles where the CNS sweeps. With Spain she has been the 2014 European Champion, 2013 World Champion, and won silver in the London Olympic Games. All a living legend despite her young age.

 Ana Copado:

annacopado

Terrasa, 1983. One of the best goalkeepers. Silver at the 2012 London Olympic Games. A long sporting career has made her a benchmark for many girls. An excellent person that when it was time to jump in the water she gave her best and when she wasn’t, she encouraged the most.

 Marta Bach:

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Mataró, 1993. Champion of the Trieste Pre-Olympic tournament (2012), 5ª in the European Championship in Eindhoven (2012), 11ª Shanghai World Championship (2011), 4ª in the Superfinal of the world league (2011) and champion of the Trieste Junior World Championship (2011). Silver in London 2012, Gold Barcelona 2013 and Budapest 2014. An essential player when she is called for the national team and a key piece of her club CN Mataró

Necessary question. How did you get started in this sport and what are your earliest memories in the water?

I wasn’t a very good swimmer and since I was tall, the club suggested that I try water polo… After my first day of practice I had decided I was going to play water polo… I had a great time.

Your career in Spain was mainly developed in the CE Mediterrani winning the league title in the 2002-2003 season. What do you remember from that time?

 During my time with CE Mediterrani I remember being around the best players. Most were part of the Spanish selection, so each practice was a luxury because of the high level and discipline they had. There I learned to love the essence of water polo, there was no financial aid or national teams or club level… so it was putting in the hours and effort to enjoy the sport.

Simultaneously the first international successes started with the junior selection in Loule and Calgary 

I remember those summers, with coach Mar Sanromà, we worked very hard, many hours training and a lot of discipline. We knew this was the only way for good results. Also it was the first time that we would with a psychologists and biomechanics. And all that effort served a purpose, the first medals came in women’s water polo categories (bronze in El Europeo in Loule and bronze in the world championship in Calgary)

You were part of the team that participated in the 2003 World Championship in Barcelona that is considered the precursor of the current generation that has achieved much success.How is it playing the World Championship at home?

Being 20 years old and one of the smallest/shortest on the team I remember it was brutal, throughout the championship I had goose bumps. I couldn’t believe that so many people looked up to us, followed us and enjoyed our games. I remember it as one of the most important moments in my career.

Thanks to that generation, the plan ADO entered with all that it entails. It seems people forget that there was women’s water polo before [now] What changes have you noticed since then? 

The people who spent years in the world of women’s water polo know that without this generation, the women’s water polo world as we know it now probably wouldn’t exist. There were players who trained every day after a hard day’s work, who asked for vacation time to go to stages or tournaments, who  “mortgaged” there summer so that could be “full with the selection, and all this without financial compensation… it was admirable. Thanks to that team and that first ADO, some players from the selection could be without a job, or could continue their studies. The ADO grants are essential for the players to devote sufficient time to polo for great results, otherwise it would be almost impossible.

Plata en Málaga 2008

Plata en Málaga 2008

In 2004 you went to the United States where you won an NCAA ring in your first season. How is water polo across the Atlantic?

It is hard water polo, many hours of training/practice and a lot of disciple. The workouts had a starting time but no end, hours of meetings, you had to study film of rivals before the game, etc. When your goal is to win in the NCAA [title] there is a lot of pressure. Additionally, in the case of having a “full scholarship”, the continuity depends on your academic and sports results.

 Having studied in America, Has it helped you now going back into the workplace?

 It helps to have a career in the US and have a high level of English. The latter is critical today in any career.

Later you return to Spain where in the 2009-2010 season you reclaimed the league championship with Mediterrani some of which have then been a very important part of the current national team…

 It is the league that I remember most fondly. It was a tough year in many ways, but we know how to cope very well: we were very disciplined (we withstood whichever training they threw at us), talented players… but it was the attitude in the water and good relationship between us which made us win this league and made it memorable. I can assure you that any player that formed part of this team remembers that season specially.

 And then you decided to go on a trip to the birthplace of world water polo, Hungary. There you won second place twice in the league. What are your memories of that experience?

 I was coming from the U.S., where everything is based on discipline and hard work, so I was shocked to see a totally different type of water polo… One based off talent. Seeing 12-15 year old kids with a ball control that players in Spain only achieved in the last years of their careers leaves you speechless. And this is because in Hungary they start at a young age working on individual technique and ball control.

Probably, what has stayed with me of those years is having been on a team with some of the best players of Hungarian history.

 Not to mention the silver you won with the selection in the 2008 European Championship in Malaga….

 Unforgettable…  how the fans encouraged us in that championship! Waiting for us outside the pool to sing to us, encourage us… we really enjoyed it. I remember the semifinal game that we won against Hungary, it was very exciting. And even then we lost the final, we were ecstatic to get the first medal of the women’s water polo in a major competition.

 What have been your best and worst memories in this sport?

 I can’t decide on just one good memory, probably I could summarize it in three:

 -The games won and lost that marking a turning point in my career and my development as a player

-The times in practice and traveling with my teammates, that makes you remember everything lived with a special affection.

-And all the moments and games shared, both the selection and the club, with my sister (Cristina Pardo). I wouldn’t have enjoyed everything in the way that I did without having her by my side.

The worst memory probably is the day that I decided to stop playing water polo, I still miss it. But there always comes that time when one must make that decision and not look back, because in reality, there are many wonderful things waiting for us outside of the pool.

 What advice would you give to younger [players] given your experience? 

Two things:

– To get anything (go to the selection, win a league or to play more minutes in club) you must work hard… there will be disappointments and failure, and these will be what help us achieve our goals, otherwise we would never get there

Water polo is a part of life that we must take advantage of and live intensely, but it is not the only thing.  Never stop studying and have other dreams and goals outside of the water.

Lets talk about BIWPA. What do you think and what can they offer to current water polo? 

BIPWA is a great project, and I think the key lies in the variety of programs, being able to combine them with studies and cultural diversity. I think that to play at another level it’s essential to enrich learning different ways of understanding water polo, and this program can offer this experience to developing players.

The Spanish women’s water polo team has achieved the bronze medal in the World Cup which was held in Khanty Mansyisk (Russia) after beating China (7-5). Miki Oca‘s girls, with new faces given the low champions of Europe for some rest, have won the first medal in the history of Spanish women’s water polo in a World Cup.

The “warriors” have managed to remain competitive in a competition that began with a big win over Singapore (34-3), and continued with a 12-5 against China. Although they lost to Russia (7-6), were ranked first group, crossing to South Africa in the quarterfinals (12-2).

However, when meeting Australia in the semifinal they lost 8-2, leaving themselves with no option to the gold medal. In the consolation final they clearly imposed the Chinese (7-5), with a great performance by Anni Espar, BIWPA ambassadress, who scored four goals.

Again Miki Oca’s girls make history with the first medal at a World Cup and after becoming champions of Europe, demonstrating the high level of women’s water polo in Spain.

Equipo Nacional

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