mercoledì 12 ottobre 2016

Afghanistan Water Polo make international debut

For the first time in history, Afghanistan Water Polo (AWP) athletes have competed internationally. A group of eight Afghan athletes are representing their nation this week at the 2016 Asian Beach Games in Da Nang, Vietnam.

“The team has been vastly improving from the moment they set foot in Vietnam,” said AWP Head Coach Jeremy Piasecki. “These players will take their experiences back to Afghanistan to share with their communities, inspiring other young athletes in the process.”

Piasecki, also a U.S. Marine, launched Afghanistan's first water polo program eight years ago in a country that claimed only 12 pools nationwide. He spent months locating pools and recruiting from the few Afghan athletes who could swim before launching the program.

"I wanted to make my family, teammates and country proud,” said AWP athlete Ali Asghar Nazari. “Today I did that.”

The team’s performance, which includes seven points scored against a fierce People’s Republic of China Team, is especially heartening for Scott Caruso, Director of International Relations for AWP.

"As I reflect on the journey from the introduction of a completely foreign sport to Afghans in 2008, to watching one of our newer athletes score Afghanistan's first ever international goal this week, I couldn't be prouder of everyone involved,” said Caruso. “It's amazing how a group of likeminded people can change the course of history by working towards a singular goal."

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