Not so many people in waterpolo have shone in the water and on the bench, becoming great coaches after being amazing players. Among them is Sandro Campagna, Olympic champion at Barcelona 1992 and current Italian Settebello head coach and new testimonial of the 11th edition of the HaBaWaBa International Festival, scheduled on June, from 17th to 24th, at the Bella Italia & EFA Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy): “Waterpolo Development asked me that for some time – Campagna says – and finally I will be in Lignano to enjoy all the great stuff they told me about this event”.
Campagna recently was at the FINA World Conference in Budapest, where everybody highlighted the importance for waterpolo to attract children. “The play-oriented activities dedicated to U11 are welcome in waterpolo world: at the Festival kids have the opportunity to learn something in a natural way, without worring about victory and competitiveness. At that age it’s important that they enjoy the joy of playing. From 8 and 12 years old their development of coordination is greater: that’s the time when you learn things that stay with you for a lifetime. Thanks to HaBaWaBa children can do it spontaneously”.
Playing enables kids to discover their love for waterpolo. “At the age of 11 I was only a swimmer, I started playing waterpolo when I was 12 with the players from Ortigia senior team that taught me, passing me the ball in the pool, in the room behind the goal. When I played the first game of my life, then, I understood that I knew how to move inside the field: that’s when I fell in love with waterpolo“.
Waiting to meet them in Lignano, Campagna sends a message to the little athletes of the HaBaWaBa International Festival. “You will have a great opportunity, you can play, know and live with other kids from different countries. HaBaWaBa will be a unique experience that you will carry in your heart forever. If those children will become champions will be even better, however what really matters is that they will keep following waterpolo: it doesn’t matter if they will be players, referees, coaches, fans or journalists. I don’t know if I’m ready to go back into the water to play with them, but, after all, I could still make it against an U11 opponent…”.