by Shaleisa Daniel
The likelihood of a competing water polo team coming to City College is creating a wave of interest and enthusiasm.
The athletic department has been buzzing with plans to create a women’s water polo team and the Fall 2015 season is pending college approval.
The new addition cannot come soon enough according to Swimming Coach Phong Pham, who for years has expressed interest in starting such a team.
“It’s been in the works and talked about in meetings for the past few years,” Pham said.
Although the City College Athletics Department has vocalized their support for a women’s water polo team, Coach Pham is concerned that its lack of popularity as a sport could thwart its development.
“Our goal is to recruit enough players to compete knowing that San Francisco is not a huge fan of women’s water polo or water polo period,” Pham said. “It’s going to be challenging. But I think we can make our goal and have a somewhat competitive team.”
Support for Water Polo seems strong
Three City College swimmers have already committed to the potential team, but Coach Pham would like to acquire others to definitively have a team by next semester.
“We need to have more players in place by the end of the semester so we’ll probably know in the next couple of weeks,” Pham said.
Pending finalization, the development is expected to go smoothly according to City College Athletic Department Chair Dan Hayes.
“We’ll know pretty soon. I think everything is going to be positive,” Hayes said. “We already have a facility and a coach; we’re looking to create more opportunities for female student athletes.”
There are no known plans to bring a men’s water polo team to City College any time soon.
“There seems to be more interest in women’s water polo.” Hayes said.
Water Polo will aid Swimming Team
According to Pham, developing a water polo team is expected to strengthen the swimming program.
Swimmers choosing to play water polo will be required to train in the fall and spring in order to help them maintain excellent physical condition.
“It will support both programs because the conditioning for our student athletes will be year around between swimming and water polo,” Pham said.
As of now, City College is the only school in the Coast Conference that does not offer women’s water polo.
In the past, swimmers coming from nearby high schools who wanted the option to swim and play water polo have instead opted for schools that offer both sports, according to Pham.
College approval is expected in the coming weeks.
“We’re very optimistic.’” Hayes said.