“The inflatable Packagoals allow our coaches to travel with the nets for practice or allow the facilities to keep one or two on deck, which has allowed water polo to get into more facilities around the city – it’s awesome.”
The junior-sized goals were especially practical for goalkeeper training, Ms Paul said, as young players could be demoralised if they played in a large full-sized goal too early.
“In the past we’ve only had access to regulation adult sizes, but if you’re an under-10 aged player and you try to stop a goal, it’s so hopeless.
“Having the smaller nets has really moulded goalie development and training at our club. We used to struggle to develop goalies since it was hard for them to stop anything but now we have a lot of athletes excited to be in goal; they can stop more shots as the nets are more appropriate for their size.”
Riptides Water Polo Club was established by the well-known Tsunami Water Polo Club two years ago after the club decided to set up a dedicated juniors program separate from its youth and senior high-performance programs. The two clubs are strongly affiliated, with Riptides players usually continuing on to play for Tsunami when they get older.
Ms Paul said the separation allowed Riptides to focus on grassroots level, and the club now had around 100 members playing across its U14, U12, U10 and U8 age groups.
“Riptides is focused on recruitment, growth of water polo, fundamental skills, having fun and becoming leaders,” she said.
Tsunami celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. The club has established itself as a top contender on the Western Championship and National Championship stage. Several of the club’s players have gone on to play for Canada’s national team, while others have gone on to play in professional clubs in Europe.
Ms Paul said water polo was still a smaller sport in Canada, where ice hockey dominates, but it was becoming increasingly popular.
Riptides Water Polo Club plunged into action again this week for the start of their fall season.
>> Learn more about Packaworld’s inflatable water polo goals on our Water Polo Packagoals page.
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