Updated: Jul 26
I didn’t know it at the time, but March 5th, 2020 was the last time I would practice in a pool for almost three months. Soon after that date I returned home to the US and like many others was stuck at home in quarantine unsure of what the future would hold for me. I did not know how long I would be out of the pool, but I was ready to return to play as soon as I got the chance. On May 6th after over a month at home I learned that the Italian league would be cancelled, and I began to question my future in water polo. All I wanted to do was to keep playing, but I didn't know if or when I would be allowed back in the pool. I tried to stay optimistic and tell myself that I would be back in the pool soon, but it was not always that easy. I would often consider the worst-case scenario of not being able to play again. However, I tried my best to create a daily workout routine. I had to replace my gym workouts with backyard workouts, and my conditioning was no longer swimming laps in the pool, but swimming in the open water and running in my neighborhood. This went on for a few months with the hope that I would be able to start practicing again soon.
In June I started to get some positive feedback from teams in Europe, they were starting to build their squads for the next season. One of the teams that contacted me was Kaposvár Vízilabda Klub. A team playing in the first division of Hungary (OB1). I was ecstatic, I would be playing water polo again for the first time in over three months. On top of that the Hungarian league is one of the best water polo leagues in the world and they will be the first league to begin a new season!
I ended up coming to an agreement with the club and I arrived in Kaposvár on July 1st. I have been practicing with my new team for a few weeks now and we are about to have our first few games this weekend as part of the Hungarian Cup. For many of us this is our first official game in about 4 months, and we could not be more excited.
The Hungarian Cup is a pre-season tournament where teams will be showcasing their new squads before the start of the championship in August. This year there will be four stages held every weekend from July 25th to August 16th. The first stage will be this weekend and the 16 teams will be split up into four groups of 4, with each group playing at a different location. This weekend my team (Kaposvár VK) will host our group which includes Szolnok, BVSC, and UVSE.
Our Schedule follows:
Saturday, July 25th
Kaposvár-UVSE, 5:30pm CET, 8:30am PT
Our Games on Saturday will be live streamed on the KaposPont Youtube Channel
Sunday, July 26th
Kaposvár-BVSC, 10:00am CET, 1:00am PT
Szolnok-Kaposvár, 5:30pm CET, 8:30am PT
The morning game on Sunday will be live streamed on the Hungarian Water Polo Federation website
Update: No live stream for the second game
Total Water Polo on the Hungarian Cup: english water polo news source
Kaposvár VK Press Release (English): my teams website
Hungarian Water Polo Federation Website (English): tv schedule, live streams, scoreboard, and Hungarian water polo news