The Kelowna Water Polo Club is taking its sport outdoors

Water polo going outside

The Kelowna Water Polo Club is taking its sport to the outdoors, and with it, comes a plethora of benefits.

Both adult and youth water polo will be played at Tugboat beach for July and August. That means many parents who weren’t able to see their children develop and progress in the sport due to the COVID-19 restrictions can finally get out and watch.

"During this experience we haven’t been able to have the parents see the growth of their kids, they’ve just been hearing it from us as coaches," said Kelowna Water Polo Club head coach Kristen Smart.

"But for us now to be able to say okay, we’re allowed to have spectators on the beach, please come out and see how much of a growth you can see in your child, not only as a swimmer, but as a team member and as a general person."

Another KWPC coach Adam Frank says the move makes a lot of sense for the organization, beyond the beauty of the setting. "It also just makes it cheaper than having to rent a pool, and we can have a lot more people outdoors."

Being a coach for any youth sport is often a thankless job. But Frank says getting a chance to coach kids in a sport he used to play competitively is very rewarding for him.

“It's seeing them develop. It's the first time I've ever coached youth, so it's testing my own abilities and remembering how the sport is played as I haven’t played competitively in a few years... so when I do see myself getting through to the kids and they’re picking it up, that's probably the most rewarding thing,” said Frank.

Kristin Smart wants to remind Kelowna residents that water polo is for everyone. For those who are interested in signing up, the KWPC has a youth program open from ages 9-12 and 13-16, as well as ages 17 and up for their adult program. You can sign up, or learn more about the club, here.

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