Water polo became one of the first team sports of the modern Olympics in 1900. Water polo, being named one of the hardest sports to master, is a challenge that a number of students take on. BYU-Idaho has intermural water polo teams available to join at any point in the season.
Danielle Stedman, the general manager, shared her experience watching the games and mentioned how the sport is physically demanding. One example of how brutal it can get was when, not too long ago, a player was repeatedly kicked underwater and suffered five fractured ribs.
“Because it’s a competitive sport, the hardest part is being able to see when someone is being too aggressive, especially when a lot of it is happening underwater,” Stedman said. “I want to give fair games, and I want to give good sportsmanship.”
Sam Gekeler, the men’s water polo coordinator, shared his unique story of how he got into the sport. He was initially a football player and had never heard nor seen water polo in action. His good friend introduced him to the leadership position as coach for the girl’s team two years ago.
Sam was curious as to why he would be qualified to coach a water polo team as only a qualified football player. The ability to communicate and see patterns is key to success in the game.
“If a landlocked sports player like me can pick it up, anyone can,” Gekeler said. “It’s not rocket science.”
Sam urged any curious athletes who are remotely competitive with a growth mindset to come and take a shot.
Practices are twice a week, one hour each. Open water polo happens from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Students are allowed to come at any point in the season to try it out on Wednesday nights.
To join campus water polo, visit the BYU-I Campus Recreation website