October 1, 2020 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

Edify TV: Avoiding a ‘Twindemic’

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Local officials are trying to avoid a double dose of hospitalizations from the flu and coronavirus being coined a ‘Twindemic.’...

Edify TV: Westside Colleges to Remain Remote for Foreseeable Future

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Westside college campuses, closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will likely remain closed for the foreseeable future. Learn more in this...

BREAKING: Santa Monica City Council Approves Miramar Expansion

September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020

Project moves forward by 4-2 vote By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has approved plans that have been in...

Santa Monica Walk to End Alzheimer’s

September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020

Alzheimer’s Association encouraging residents to walk in small groups amid COVID-19 The Alzheimer’s Association is inviting Santa Monica residents to...

Lawsuit Filed Against Plaza Development

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Slow-growth group says City is violating Surplus Land Act By Sam Catanzaro A slow-growth group has filed a lawsuit to...

City Of Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project: Santa Monica Beat – September, 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica Being Sued Over Proposed Plaza Project. * LA Street...

Santa Monica Police Make Additional Arrests in Looting of REI

September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020

Marques Miles and Misty Jones arrested by Santa Monica Police Department Santa Monica police recently made additional arrests of two...

OpEd: The Miramar Project Will Be a New Architectural Jewel

September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020

The Miramar Hotel has been a central part of Santa Monica’s history and an integral part of the community for...

Edify TV: Trident Center Redevelopment

September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020

The Westside’s Trident Center is getting a major overhaul and new name as part of a flurry of development in...

Miramar Project to go Before City Council Tuesday

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Councilmember Gleam Davis asks City Attorney whether she should rescue self from vote  By Sam Catanzaro  Santa Monica lawmakers will...

SMa.r.t. Column: Needed, A Heart Transplant

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

We have written about adaptive reuse in previous columns and have postulated that with proper incentives, the existing one, two...

Edify TV: Boulders Blocking Westside Encampment

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

City officials recently removed boulders placed on sidewalks by some Westside residents to prevent the formation of a homeless encampment....

Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? Santa Monica Beat – September, 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Should Council Member Davis Recuse Herself From Voting? * Increases In...

SMC to Be Online for Winter and Spring 2021

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

College cites lack of available vaccine  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has announced it will be delivering classes...

Edify TV: Al Fresco Program Ending?

September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020

During a COVID-19 pandemic many restaurants have found aid through the City of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco dining program, but...