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.
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.
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.
Since 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.
The TEWAM European Water Polo Tournament organized by Club Marbella for youngest players has become a reference. The most representative clubs in Spain and Europe do not want to miss a classic event where young people, in addition to practice and compete in the sport they love, create a fraternity trying to maintain over time. That´s why BIWPA started last year collaborate with TEWAM.
The TEWAM began with the dispute of twenty ten games between the teams that have registered. Not surprisingly Catalan sets, Jerez or the A team of Waterpolo Marbella have become the highlights of day winning every game they have played.
Also, the atmosphere that has occurred in the stands of the indoor pool of the complex Serrano Lima, can only be likened to the big occasion. Family, friends, fans of water polo in general and the heads of clubs and the federation estates have a special color to the competition itself to what really is the quote: one of the best water polo events quarry which They held in Spain. Event, which incidentally, has been copied by other clubs and are held throughout the year.
When did you start playing water polo?
I started when I was just 6 years old, in the ancient municipal swimming pool in Sabadell, where, at the time, the teams of CN Sabadell were training. I did a test for swimming, but I was told that I only could join water polo, I said yes, but I have to confess that I had no idea of was water polo was.
I got hooked immediately, and a few years later I entered “Escola Santa Clara” of the CNS and little by little I went crazy for this sport.
Your career began in CN Sabadell. What do you remember of this first stage of training?
The truth is that I keep very good memories, I spent many years playing there and every time I play there as a visitor it feels very strange. With Sabadell I had the luck to coincide with good coaches and, above all, great people like Rupert Navarro, Pere Carrasco, Xavi Balaguer, David Palma, and Jordi Millán; from each of them I learned things and they helped me a lot at any time, after all, these are things that we take for ourselves from the sport.
It was a pity that at the same time as I, some of them were forced to leave the club, but life goes on and we all have found our place!
You played in that team B of the CNS that competed in both First and Second National Division. What did those games give to you personally for your growth as a player?
I think those were the years that I enjoyed playing the most. We were a very young team and we wanted to show that we deserved a place in the first team or in the Honorary Division. I believe that playing in that team helped us to train very much, there played people as José Motos, Marc Soler, Carlos Sánchez, Jordi Mardones, Borja Fenoy, and someone else that I forgot, and finally they proved to have the sufficient skill to play on the top level.
The change from youth to senior team is very big and I think that this intermediate step was the key step for the adaptation. Those are leagues where the weekly games are a struggle to the death, you play against players who have already built their careers in the Honorary Division, and this gives you a priceless experience at this age.
It is a pity that due to the current economic situation, no team is capable of supporting a team B with its budget. But even so, every year players from youth squads raise to the first teams, which is the most important thing, after all. In the absence of the possibility to have youth teams, it is vital that the clubs have patience and trust their people.
In the 2012-2013 season, you were signed by CN Catalunya to play in the Honorary Division. What changes did you notice having played in the highest level competition?
The truth is that at first this change was not easy, you change the city, game philosophy, your teammates… this makes you a bit nervous, but from the first day in CN Catalunya they treated me as if I was at home, so it was very easy to adapt.
In Sabadell I used to train with the first team, and with that I did not notice any big difference in terms of training level. The big difference was to have the opportunity to play every week at the top level, and to have the power to assume the responsibilities.
This was a complicated step for me, but as it is usually said, when when one door closes, another opens, and this was indeed the case!
How is going to be this season for CN Catalunya?
Well, we have a team with a potential, there are many new faces and this requires some time to adapt. We have learn how to be a little more stable than the last season and in this way we will be able to consolidate our team in the positions that we want.
Little by little, we get to know each other better, we begin understanding each other at a glance and now when our league starts I am sure that good results will appear.
The important thing is to work hard at all the training sessions, and there is no secret, you play as you train!
Entering the BIWPA team, what attracted your attention to this project?
When it appeared, I immediately thought that it was a fantastic idea, and having become involved, I could make sure that it was indeed.
Very interesting projects that have never been created before are developed here. It is fantastic to see many and many teams from all over the world coming every year to Barcelona to visit us.
Apart from the Camps, that have been successful so far, we also managed to work with the best professionals. For kids it is a luxury to be able to participate in a camp with authentic champions like Dani Pinedo, Anni Espar, Felipe Perrone, Ana Copado, coaches like Nani Guiu, and sports professionals like Xesco Espar. With names like these words only get in the way!
This year you play a vital role for BIWPA guiding the water polo camps. What are you preparing for the players who want to come to the camps?
BIWPA Camps are a quality guarantee; there the players will be able to meet great coaches and to make friends from all over the world. Also, they are always organized in fantastic facilities, like those of CAR and CNB, in case of the camps that take place in Barcelona.
The day program of camps is very interesting. Besides the two training sessions where the participants will work thoroughly on all the technical aspects, and besides individual and collective tactics, we also have sessions of video analysis to be able to internalize the technical gestures that they will work on every day. Without forgetting the interesting workshops, like the one of interpretation of the rules or the one led by professional physiotherapists who show the exercises that help to prevent injuries.
I am crazy for water polo and I would have liked if there had been a Camp like that when I was a kid. When I see the kids’ happy faces during Masterclasses with the international players who come to our camps, I die of envy.
What is the role that the coaches play in training athletes?
They play a fundamental role; apart from having knowledge, it is very important to know how to transmit it. Apart from “what”, “how” is even more important. Every player takes something of each and every coach they have. Therefore, without realizing this, the coach becomes a fundamental part of the water polo skills of the player.
We have the big luck that all BIWPA coaches are top professionals, and are capable of transmitting perfectly our philosophy.
Original interview in Enfermos del Balón Amarillo.
The last time ‘Orange’ (Holland water polo men’s team) played at the Olympics was in Sydney 2000. To maximize our chances on qualification for Rio 2016 and – definitely – Tokyo 2020 we created an ambitious plan in 2014, with a key role for BIWPA and Barcelona water polo clubs.
Part of our plan is to have as much as possible ‘Orange’ men playing for Barcelona club teams in the top division of Spanish water polo. It gives them the opportunity to be part of a full time weekly program, managed by experienced club coaches, comprising some nine training sessions plus a match on top level. This is impossible in today’s Holland (club) water polo.
After we had our initial contact with BIWPA, they organized two test matches against Barcelona club teams in May 2014. All Barcelona club coaches were invited to see both test matches. It resulted in four of our ‘Orange’ players performing in the Spanish top division, season 2014/2015 (2 x CN Barcelona and 2 x CN Sabadell). This season 2015/2016, seven players are playing for Barcelona club teams (2 x Mataró, 2 x CN Sant Andreu, 2 x CN Rubí and 1 x CN Sabadell).
We see a faster technical, tactical, physical and mental development of our players in Barcelona compared to when they were active in Holland, thus increasing our chances on qualification for the Olympics. Rio 2016 might still come to soon, but we aim to be present again in Tokyo 2020.
We believe in our collaboration with Barcelona clubs and we are happy to have BIWPA as our agent from the start of our project. BIWPA keeps close contact with both Barcelona clubs & coaches and our ‘Orange’ players in Barcelona, so they can feel at home.
Besides being our agent, BIWPA organizes waterpolo bootcamps in Barcelona for us, both our National senior and youth teams. Our water polo bootcamp with some 80 ‘Orange’ youth players in February 2015, flawlessly organised by BIWPA, was the highlight of our collaboration so far.
Inspired by, and through positive experiences of our ‘Orange’ (youth) players active in Barcelona, more and more clubs and talent centers from all over Holland find their way to BIWPA to organize waterpolo bootcamps for them in Barcelona. Their reactions are without exception positive, on both content as well as BIWPA’s organizer role.
In a short period of time BIWPA established to become known throughout Holland water polo as a reliable and pleasant partner to work with. We look forward to have a long and strong relationship with BIWPA, and value your contribution in realizing our ‘Orange’ ambitions and dreams.
Management Water polo team Holland (men)
Robin van Galen, Hans Nieuwenburg and Ed van Es
- High Performance Center of Sant Cugat CAR
- Municipal pools of Montjuic