Courtesy: USA Water Polo
USA Water Polo recently released a four-part video series highlighting diversity in water polo. At the 2016 Olympic Games, Team USA goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson made history becoming the first African-American woman to make a U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team. She was a key piece in a gold medal effort in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ashleigh’s journey and experience as a role model to boys and girls of color inspired USA Water Polo to feature other athletes and clubs helping to diversify the sport. USA Water Polo profiled four different clubs/athletes to tell the story of their water polo experience.
The four stories included:
Agoura (CA) Stingrays – Athletes with mental disabilities are taught to swim and play a modified version of Splashball (USA Water Polo’s introduction to water polo) with experiences that have enriched their lives:
Commerce (CA) Water Polo – A well known club in the water polo world, the coaches and athletes of Commerce describe their experience hailing from a community in Southern California with Mexican and Latin roots:
Sydney Barta – Navy Water Polo Club (MD) athlete Sydney Barta lost part of her leg at a young age and requires a prosthetic for everyday activities, but not water polo:
Washington (DC) Wetskins – The oldest LGBT inclusive water polo club in the United States started decades ago with an entry into the Gay Games. They’ve grown to become inclusive of all sexual orientations, genders and races while remembering their origins: