To celebrate our birthday week, we’re having some of our coaches share their thoughts on Gator Water Polo. First up is one of our Co-Founders, John Trimble!
“Water polo isn’t a sport to me, it’s a passion. I fell in love with it when I went to my first practice in 9th grade. I could barely swim a lap, let alone tread water, but somehow, I was excited, not discouraged, by my initial failings. I’ve now played for 8 years, swimming and treading are no longer a challenge, and every year my love for water polo has only grown. It helped me take a break from the homework in high school, immediately find a place among 50,000 students at UF, and stay active and healthy throughout my life. I can’t accurately describe what water polo means to me, other than to say it is what I live for. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I had grown up in Gainesville, without the opportunity to discover water polo.
GWP has given me the opportunity to bring that sport that I love to the next generation in Gainesville. Three years ago, when David and I started the club, we had a goal of making water polo accessible to every kid in Gainesville who wanted to play, and I’m very proud to say that no athlete has ever been turned away. To me, that is our single biggest accomplishment. It overwhelms me with pride to know that no kid growing up in Gainesville will ever miss out on the opportunity to discover water polo because there isn’t a team, they don’t have any swimming experience, they can’t afford the costs, or any other reason we can affect.
GWP’s future is very bright. As we continue to grow we will be able to offer better opportunities for the next generation of water polo players, and be able to compete, not just in Florida, but nationally, and even internationally one day. My vision for the next 3 years includes boys and girls’ varsity water polo teams at multiple schools in Gainesville, and competitive teams in every age group from 10U to 18U playing in national tournaments.
It has been a fantastic 3 years so far, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 3!
Happy birthday Gator Water Polo!”
Picture of Coach John on deck in 2014.