On our 3rd birthday Coach David Huelsman shares his thoughts on Gator Water Polo’s history. Thank you to all of our amazing athletes, parents, coaches, and volunteers that have helped us make the past 3 years! We’re even more excited for the next 3!!
“When John came up with this idea to start water polo in Gainesville, I thought to my self ‘this is going to be an up hill battle’. I came to Gainesville in 2007 and was coaching Baseball at GHS. Most people in North Florida had absolutely no idea what water polo is. Being from Southern California, and playing water polo there, water polo was a thing, people knew what it was and it was what the “cool kids played”, it was a part of every high school. When we set up our first practice in April 2013, John printed flyers at UF, passed them around, and we had three awesome kids show up. It was a blast, but very small.
As Gator Water Polo has grown up in Gainesville I look back to that first practice and I’m amazed at the success we have had. It really is incredible to see these kids growing up with the sport, and really making their own mark on it. In Fall of 2015, two of the three girls that came to that first practice started their first semester at UF. They sent me a message saying they were trying out for the UF Women’s team. I was so proud to see these girls that started, not knowing anything about water polo three years ago, to joining an amazing team at the collegiate level.
Next year, we will continue to grow Gator Water Polo. We are pushing to build out our 10/12U programs, as they are the next wave of athletes to push GWP forward. We will also be building out Girls and Guys teams at both GHS and BHS. If you are looking for a sport, and or not happy with your current one, give water polo a try. It will be the best decision of your life. Getting in the water will change your life. We turn our kids into health young adults.
We are so fortunate to have an amazing group of young athletes and families, we also have one of the finest coaching staffs in the country.
The future for Gator Water Polo is a bright one, I can’t wait to see what the next three years hold. Happy Birthday!!!”