March 13, 2013, Ottawa, ON (ISN) – When both the Canadian men and women teams won gold in the finals of the UANA World Championship Qualification Tournament in Calgary this past February 3, the water polo world took notice.
The women’s team had offered a strong performance and, in an even more noteworthy display, the Canadian men had beaten the powerful Americans in the finals for the first time in decades at major event. Water Polo Canada points to hard work, recent adjustments in coaching, high performance management with the addition of gender-specific high performance directors and finally to the continued support of multiple partners to explain these positive results.
“Yes, we’ve received a lot of congratulations over the last few weeks and we’re definitely enjoying the moment,” commented Ahmed El-Awadi, Executive Director of Water Polo Canada. “With the women’s team, we are seeing the impact made by new coach Guy Baker. On the men’s side, we also have a recently appointed head coach in Aleksandar Beslin and several young players are now establishing themselves as powerful threats. Beyond that, everybody is staying humble and is very aware that a whole sustainable structure is required to reach this level of excellence. The support of partners such as the Government of Canada is invaluable for amateur sports programs like ours. After big wins like these especially, we cannot go without thanking them and acknowledging their contributions in our success. On behalf of the Canadian water polo community I would like to thank the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sport for his assistance, leadership and support with Water Polo Canada and Canadian team sports in general”.
Each year, new elite water polo players become eligible to various types of government funding. These National team members go on to represent Canada at international events such as the upcoming World Championships in Barcelona next July and also have a chance to be part of the pursuit of Canada’s Olympic dream in water polo.