April 21, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Olympian Inspires Rising Stars At Santa Monica Splashball & Water Polo Club:

Four-time USA water polo Olympian Ryan Bailey started playing the sport as an eight-year-old. Decades later, Bailey is giving back to the community by part-time coaching at the Santa Monica Splashball and Water Polo Club.

The club consists of three different levels: elementary school, middle school, and high school water polo.

Head Coach Karl Niehaus, a South African native and former professional player, said the Splashball team caters to younger children who are typically beginner swimmers.

Niehaus said the club is unique.

“In terms of what they are learning, we stand a part,” Niehaus said. “The children are learning from Division 1 players and Olympians.”

He said the coaching primes team members to go from the club directly to Varsity High School teams.

What separates the Santa Monica team from others is the caliber of its coaches. Bailey enlisted his friend, and three-time Olympian Jeff Powers to coach the team, giving the club a broader perspective to water polo.

Bailey has held the center position on the U.S. Water Polo Team for 16 years. At the 2012 London Olympics, Bailey joined teammate Tony Azevedo as becoming the first two men in U.S. history to play in four Olympics in water polo.

Niehaus added the physicality necessitated by the center position makes it one of the most difficult, therefore, one of the hardest to retain for more than four to eight years.

“You have to do everything everyone else is doing and then you literally have someone trying to drown you,” Niehaus said.

Bailey was instrumental in the U.S.’s first win in 20 years at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. They won the silver medal, but it took several years for Bailey to appreciate the win.

“With the silver medal, you essentially lose,” Bailey said. “Naturally, I was a little disappointed. It has been five years and now I like it.”

Bailey played professional water polo overseas for eight years: two years each in Russia, Croatia, Serbia, and Greece.

Retired and at home, Bailey wants to inspire children by showing them the result of dedication and hard work.

The Santa Monica Water Polo Club has been coaching girls and boys water polo since 1995. For more information, visit www.santamonicawaterpolo.com.

in News
Related Posts

World’s Only Solar-Powered Ferris Wheel Goes ‘Green’ For Earth Day at Santa Monica Pier

April 20, 2021

April 20, 2021

Earth Day light show Thursday night By Chad Winthrop A Earth Day-themed light show is coming to the Santa Monica...

Samohi Vikings Frosh-Soph Defeat Culver City Centaurs in Final Seconds

April 20, 2021

April 20, 2021

2020 was a tough year for Santa Monica High School football as Covid-19 restrictions forced all high school sports to...

SaMo Pride Announces Return of Art Walk

April 20, 2021

April 20, 2021

Annual event returns June 1-30 throughout downtown area By Timothy Michael In honor of Pride Month, SaMo Pride has announced...

Edify TV: Biking Increasing in Los Angeles

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Once considered among the worst places for cyclists, data shows that biking has increased substantially in Los Angeles. Learn more...

Santa Monica Police Bolster Patrols as Jury Deliberation Begins in Derek Chauvin Trial

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Santa Monica police say “no specific intelligence of any unrest”  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica police are increasing deployment of...

Robot Powered Food Delivery Program Expanding: Santa Monica Beat – April, 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Robot Powered Food Delivery Program Expanding * Two Men Arrested For...

County Holds Hearing on Effort to Split Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Los Angeles County Office of Education makes no decision, will return in June  By Sam Catanzaro A long-awaited public hearing...

Edify TV: Venice Handball Courts Encampment Cleared

April 18, 2021

April 18, 2021

Sanitation crews Thursday cleared a homeless encampment at the Venice Beach handball courts. Learn more in this video made possible...

Edify TV: $2 Billion Beverly Hills Development Proposed Near Westside

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

A developer wants to build a $2 billion condo and retail development flanking the Beverly Hilton hotel. Learn more in...

State Funds Two Additional Sustainable Housing Proposals in Santa Monica

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Proposals are designed to help with affordability and sustainability  By Toi Creel California is paving the way for environmentally-friendly housing...

Santa Monica City Council Rejects Proposed Ban of Certain Items at Protests

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Lawmakers vote down item 4-3 at meeting this week  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers rejected a motion this week...

Edify TV: LAFD Announces Likely Cause of Ballona Wetlands Fire

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

The LAFD has revealed the cause of a March fire that destroyed five acres of the Ballona Wetlands. Learn more...

Shake Shack Set to Open in Santa Monica

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

NYC-based burger chain to open at Wilshire and 5th this weekend By Kerry Slater East Coast burger joint Shake Shack...

Restaurant Spotlight: Piccolo Bringing Fine Italian Dining to Santa Monica and Venice

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Latest restaurant from Chef Antonio Mure with two locations on Westside  By Timothy Michael An esteemed chef with deep ties...