- KOB 4 | ABQ water polo instructor headed to Afghanistan to teach sport to women
- Newsletter: Women Break Ground with National Water Polo Team
- Athlete Spotlight: Ebrahim Rajabi
- Newsletters: January – March 2015
- Military Times | Marines help coach Afghanistan’s first water polo team
- GWsports.com | Men’s @GW_WaterPolo Alum Coaching in Afghanistan
- Village News | Piasecki to train the Afghanistan National Water Polo Team
Athlete role models such as Rohullah Nikpai, who won Afghanistan’s first Olympic medal in Tae Kwan Do in 2008, provide the youth of Afghanistan with examples of teamwork, fairness, integrity, and hard work to look up to.
It was in this spirit that US Marine Jeremy Piasecki undertook the unusual challenge of bringing the oldest Olympic team sport — water polo — to the Afghan community he was serving and stationed in.
From the bare beginnings of an unfilled swimming pool on the Shoraback military garrison, Jeremy worked with the local commanders to recruit, train, and hold qualifying tryouts for the Afghan National Water Polo and Swim Teams. No small feat in a country with only a handful of pools and where only about one in five men (and one in fifty women) know how to swim. (You can read Jeremy’s account of the challenging process behind this success on his blog.)
Officially sanctioned as a national sport by the Afghanistan Olympic Committee, the Afghan Water Polo Team today faces an even bigger challenge — attaining the levels of conditioning and skill required to compete in international play.
What may once have seemed an impossibility — a water polo team in Afghanistan — is today a reality. What other impossibilities can this team and its athlete role models achieve? The story is just beginning. . . .