Lamorinda Water Polo Club Competes in Barcelona


Mira Haldar

As a city that is globally recognized for its diverse cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and active nightlife, Barcelona undoubtedly lives up to its name. However, the city has a lesser-known side: its successful history of water polo. Regarded as a home to the sport, Barcelona produces some of the world’s top water polo players in both its competitive amateur divisions and its famed professional club teams. And what better way is there to enjoy the game and immerse in Catalonian culture than a team visit?

After making the 5983 mile journey to Barcelona, Lamorinda Water Polo Club (LAMO) athletes got the opportunity to compete at an international level. They first connected with the Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) over spring break to enjoy a week-long adventure filled with games, excursions, and fun. 

“The athletes got to learn from a different coach and an Olympian from Spain. They were introduced to different skills, a different style of play, and different perspectives,” LAMO 16U Girls Water Polo coach Kim Everest said. “They experienced a new culture–food, history, architecture. They got a taste of what it is like to be an elite athlete… training, travel, games, little downtime, everyday. It was hard and pushed them to another level. They will all benefit in many different ways.”

  Apart from the intensive training schedule–complete with six training sessions, six games, and two masterclasses coached by an Olympian, across six different pools–athletes additionally enjoyed many engaging excursions and further explored Catalonian history. With memorable activities like a paella cooking class, a bike tour, and a kayaking tour of Girona, many regard their team’s journey as unforgettable. 

“For the most enjoyable part, I think the kids would say the kayaking trip we took. They really got to relax and have fun with each other. It was great to see everyone in a different environment,” Everest mentioned. 

Most notably, the LAMO athletes were immersed in a whole new world of water polo. From technique to physicality, their experiences competing with foreign teams left them stronger, faster, and smarter. “International water polo in general is much more physical than how youth age groups play here in the US. The game already requires a lot of contact, but in Spain they embrace the engagement of contact on both offense and defense,” Everest claimed. “The officiating allowed more play without the interference of a constant whistle, and it was great to see our team work through this and get better every day.”