SEAPARC dives into adult water polo league

Adult water polo sessions run every Monday night from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m., through spring and summer.

A few months ago, SEAPARC Leisure Complex launched its junior-level water polo program, and now the program is branching out into an adult league as well.

It’s grown, too. Just weeks ago, it began with five people, then eight, now 10.

The idea is to create a water polo community in Sooke that focuses on the basics of playing the sport, not so much on its competitiveness, said Myles Wallace, SEAPARC water polo program coordinator.

After all, it’s about having fun.

“No one has to know any of the rules … people still throw the ball with two hands, but that’s OK, because everyone’s learning,” Wallace said.

Adult water polo sessions run every Monday night from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m., through spring and summer. The program will be on hiatus between June 14 and July 4 due to pool maintenance.

Sessions are broken down into several intervals: practice drills for the first 10 to 15 minutes where players throw the ball around, warm up and have fun, followed by swimming up the pool, heading up with the ball. During the last 30 minutes, the teams play a game.

“I put together a few drills to understand how water polo works, and it’s good for fitness, good for fun,” Wallace said, adding that if they get three teams, they’ll extend the game time further.

While this is more of a community and fitness-focused program, Wallace said participants still need to have basic swimming skills.

“You don’t really need to be skilled, you just have to be comfortable in the deep water,” he said, adding that since the program uses 80 per cent of the pool while in session, a third of the pool is quite shallow, so if someone isn’t comfortable in deep water, there are shallow places where they can stand.

Wallace’s experience with water polo goes back to Grade 9 in Vancouver. After coming to Victoria, he played for the University of Victoria’s water polo teams.

As for equipment, you’ll need a bathing suit. No goggles are necessary.

“Water polo’s played without goggles, but it’s all heads-up anyway, you never really have your head in the water,” Wallace said.

Water polo participants pay SEAPARC’s drop-in rate of $5.75.

For more info on the program, please go online to crd.bc.ca/seaparc or call 250-642-8000.