All posts tagged waterpolo barcelona

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 Spain 2018

The participants of HaBaWaBa Spain will have the chance to attend the European Championships for free

 

Can you imagine taking part in the flagship water polo tournament for children aged 6 to 12 in the context of the European Water Polo Championships? Coincidences exist and Barcelona is the city where they will become a reality. HaBaWaBa Spain 2018 arrives with force in its first edition in Barcelona, ​​which will extend from July 17th through July 22nd.

After 10 successful editions in Italy and several more in Greece and North America, it is now the turn for Spain. The tournament 10U and 12U will coincide with the celebration of the first phase of the 33rd European LEN European Water Polo Championships, unifying the two events in two of the most iconic pools in Barcelona, ​​located at the magical mountain of Montjuïc .

The Municipal Olympic pool will host HaBaWaBa Spain, while the stars of the European national teams will play in the Bernat Picornell pool. The two locations are just 10 minutes away and connected by the same goal: stirring up passions among water polo fans of all kinds, regardless of their age, level or origin.

The venue for the 12U children’s tournament, inaugurated for the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games, has impressive stands, two pools that can hold up to 5 games at once and unique views of the city’s skyline. In addition, the young participants, upon registration, will have access to the European Championships.

The competition will last 4 days during which 420 games will be played. For this first edition in Barcelona, ​​the prospective aspirations are high: 64 teams, countries from all over the world, 832 children and more than 1,000 attendees are expected. On the other hand, 8 men’s national teams and 6 women’s national teams are already qualified for the European Championships. The rest of the teams, until reaching 16 and 12 respectively, will be decided in the Pre-Europeans that will begin in February 2018.

HaBaWaBa Spain 2018

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.

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.

 

Barcelona is one of the most important cities when talking about water polo. It has been the host to the Olympic Games (1992), Worlds (2003 and 2013), European Cups (2014 and 2015 Final Six) and will host the European Championships in 2018. The city also contains very excellent facilities that allow athletes to develop into their full potential. We could highlight all of the terrific aspects of the city, but the list is endless so we will only refer to a few:
  • High Performance Center of Sant Cugat CAR 
This is the birthplace of the Spanish Olympics. Because of there facilities, they have harvested some of the most well known Olympic sport legends. With a lot of sweat and tears these prestigious athletes have reached the highest level in their respected sports.
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  • Blume
If the CAR is the cradle, Joaquin Blume of Barcelona is the residence and genesis of Spanish water polo and all of its successes. The golden generation of great deeds has brought them international success for which they are known today.
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  • Municipal pools of Montjuic
These pools are indescribable. They overlook all of Barcelona and they are the the usual venue for major events that the city hosts. With the beautiful views of Barcelona, great facilities and athletic attraction these pools have been proclaimed world champions of Europe.
But this is does not contain the facilities and in the city and its surroundings where many teams participate in friendly matches and trainings in order to improve the competitiveness of the sport.
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Therefore, for those athletes who have contacted BIWPA, Barcelona offers multiple opportunities. Since 2014, nearly 20 teams from around the world have used Barcelona International Waterpolo Academy to prepare for a major event or simply to progress as a team through competition.
And the opportunity BIWPA offers in this area is unmatched. Barcelona has seen teams from Sweden, United States, Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, France … and many have come back to enjoy this experience once more.
Of course there is a special collaboration with the many different Catalan clubs that reside in this area. This collaboration has allowed teams that have come through BIWPA to play against these remarkable clubs.
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Finally, sports aside, there are countless opportunities offered in one of the most important cities in the world. Overlooking the Mediterranean, as it has always been throughout its history, Barcelona has many things to see: jewels of Modernism and contemporary architecture, markets, treasures of the ancient Roman and medieval town …
Barcelona Gauí

Barcelona Gauí

The Club Natació Barcelona celebrates 108 years of its history. It has been a pioneering club and, until recent years, one of the bastions of Spanish and international water polo.

It was Bernard Picornell who introduced water polo in the CNB and in Spain at the beginning of XXth century. The first match played was in 1908 and since then this sport has always been being present on the shores of the Mediterranean.

In the middle of the twenties, the CNB opened the swimming pool of the Escullera (Breakwaters), a symbol of the water polo in Spain and place where the main players of the club originated.

Up to a few years ago, the CNB was a club that dominated this sport in Spain with infinity of national titles that moved it up to the highest level. The clearest example of that time of splendor [glory] is the ancient swimming pool of the club that today is closed to the public, but those who could live great moments in this swimming pool will always remember the great episodes that took place there.

CNB, 1944. / Waterpolo Legends

CNB, 1944. / Waterpolo Legends

The achieved titles and championships [that were won] are collected in the showcase of the CNB, attesting to how big this club has been and where players of big international prestige have served, like Manel Estiarte, who is probably the most famous for being an outstanding player. To beginning of the eighties, it managed to win the continental title beating the team of Spandau 04. Also, in the middle of the nineties they had obtained a LEN Cup, a title that they repeated almost ten years later.

It was perhaps the last big title that they achieved. After this, the economic problems appeared continuously, thus the club is losing competitiveness but keeps hope and enthusiasm as a flag.

So, this year they celebrate 108 years, and from BIWPA we want to wish the club many years more of long life since it is a club that has always met fondly our entity. There our campus participants have always had a place to keep on growing like sportsmen and persons and its categories teams have always proved to be ready – as those of other clubs – to collaborate with the foreign teams that come to us.

Last week, October 18th-24th, the Dutch ZV de Zaan team arrived in Barcelona. Two senior teams, one male and one female with nearly forty water polo players between them. Also, a technical staff of 7 coaches joined these teams as well.
This expedition is part of the contract that the Netherlands has with BIWPA and there has been much progress with Dutch water polo. Zan de Zaan joined BIWPA in Barcelona last year where they trained in the morning and participated in matches in the afternoon. The men competed against Catalunya, Molins, Horta, and Sant Felui; while the women competed against Horta, Sant Andreu, Mataro, and Catalonia.
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The results have been very positive for the Dutch team and because of their hard work, they will hopefully continue to grow and be successful.
Finally, thank you to all of the clubs who have participated in the matches. Your support is vital for all of the teams who come to Barcelona and see that they can continue to work hard and improve their skills.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you learn about BIWPA?

I was looking for a program that included water polo in order to finish my high school career. I searched water polo in Europe and BIWPA was one of the first results that I had found. I have studied Spanish before, so an option to pursue my water polo career in Spain really helped me make my decision.

What skills do you want to develop in the academy?

I hope to gain experience a lot of experience at the academy. The athletes who study at the university – that is where I want to play – have much more experience than I do. It takes 5 or 6 years of playing water polo in order to gain this type of knowledge. I hope to gain this type of experience with BIWPA. Also, my position is a center, so I would like to improve my defensive play.

Why did you choose Barcelona for your training?

Like I have mentioned earlier, I am familiar with the Spanish language and it seems to be a beautiful city.

 

 

What does it mean to come to Barcelona as a young water polo player?

I am not familiar with the history of water polo that exists in Spain since it is my first time here. When I came, Yuri and Cristina explained to me the long tradition of water polo that exists in Catalonia and the area of Barcelona.

And what are your first impressions?

Coming to play with BIWPA in Barcelona was a big change. It was definitely a challenge in a new city. Also, the demand for the sport was something that I had to adjust to. I was accustomed to training 2 hours for 4 days a week. When I came to Spain I training 5 hours every day.  So yes, it has been a big change for me.

How important is it to meet new people and learn a new language during this process?

Meeting new people was not the most important during this process; rather learning a new language wasthe most important to me. Knowing a different language can help you find work in the future, now I can speak Spanish!

Could you say anything in Spanish now?

(Laughs) Ask me a question.

Do you believe that BIWPA might have helped you choose a university with a scholarship?

(In Spanish) I believe that yes, after 10 months I have the experience to play a higher level than ever before.

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.

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