American Water Polo followed up with WOWPAC members Claire Howie,Rose Schiavone and one of the founding members, Susan Ortwein. We wanted to check in a see how their satellite clinic in the Chicago area went.
What were some of the takeaways from the clinic?
Claire and Rose " I think the greatest take away from this event was seeing the number of new and veteran women coaches who seized this opportunity to learn. Since this clinic was essentially a "Trial Run," we thought we'd be lucky to find 15 women who had an interest; we ended up with 35 female coaches in attendance. All excited to learn and looking for an opportunity to take their coachingto the next level. That was extremely encouraging and is great fuel and motivation to keep providing female coaches with more opportunities for growth!"
How and why did the event come to Chicago?
Susan: "Claire Howie and Rose Schiavone attended 2014 Summit and before the weekend was over they had already planned asatellite clinic. Their enthusiasm to reach out to other coaches and specifically females in their area was instantaneously and they acted!They ran with it and organized everything, WOWPAC helped from afar and supported their efforts. Their energy and determination made a huge impact on all who attended."
What experiences encouraged you most about the clinic?
Claire and Rose: "At the end of the event, we handed out feedback surveys to all of the attendees and I am thrilled to say that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. However, with Lynn Kachmarick and Sandy Nitta running the show, that was not a huge surprise! Many people said they really enjoyed the break out mentor sessions. I have participated in these sessions during the National Summit. We broke up into groups of three and all members had different levels of coaching experience. Lynn provided the groups with topics for discussion and many people found a great forum for discussion and connection with their fellow female coaches.
What is the difference between the annual National Summit and the clinic in Chicago?
Susan:" The Summit is more of a comprehensive weekend with X’s and O’s in addition to speakers on topics such as leadership,gender biases, motivation, etc. The clinics are shorter and focus more on the X’s and O’s of water polo. Both are great andwe look forward to helping our sport grow." Claire and Rose:" We attended both the 2013 and 2014 National Summit. It was an EXCELLENT coaching clinic, but was morethan just that. It was a great networking event, an opportunity to find support from peers and colleagues you didn't even know youhad. It was such a welcoming environment. One that allowed us to spend a GREAT amount of time on X's and O's but also touch on other subjects as well. The Summit fosters an environment where everyone felt they could speak up and be heard. Whether that was to make a statement, offer advice to a colleague or to ask a question... it truly was a supportive, no judgment zone.After having such a unique and wonderful experience for two years Rose and I decided it was time to capitalize on the momentumand make something happen in the Midwest.
How did the WOWPAC organization start?
Susan: "Research states that there is a decline in the number of female coaches in sport in general. And there is always a need to educate coaches. Therefore we created a coaching group to help women who coach water polo.The catalyst for getting WOWPAC off the ground was a group of coaches who decided we needed to address a number of issuesfemale coaches face in our profession and give them tools to help. At our first Summit in 2012 we brought in Nicole LaVoi, a lecturer in the area of social and behavioral sciences in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focused on the barriers and supports experienced by female coaches,and media representations of girls and women in sport.
In 2013 Ann Enthoven, a member from the Clayman Institute of Gender Research at Stanford, moderated a panel of female coaches who are mothers. Just because females have babies doesn’t mean they have to quit coaching. Our goal is to create mentors and role models for female coaches who may face similar issues over time.
In 2014 Lynn Kachmarik, former national team player and one time head coach at Bucknell. She is currently the National Outreach Director for Play Like a Champion Today. Lynn spoke on mentorship, working with parents and host of other topics. Our summits are comprehensive coaches forums to discuss water polo and create an environment to help female coaches stay in the game.
What are some of the future goals for WOWPAC?
Susan: " Having recently received nonprofit status one of our goals is create a fund that will help send coaches to the National Summit, regional clinics and more. Donations are welcome.We are in the process of creating regions and searching for regional chairs who will help with the WOWPAC mission in their area. This would include hosting a clinic every other year. More information in the coming months.
If you are interested in receiving updates, proposed topics for discussion and/or signing up for the 2015 WOWPAC National Summit at Stanford University on November 20-22, 2015 please email email@example.com or visit www.wowpac.org
Newtown Square, Pa -- The NXT Water Polo Club based out of The Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square is offering Summer playing opportunities .The NXT Water Polo Club is a youth developmental program featuring a professional coaching staff, extensive pool sessions for skill development at an elite venue and dryland training.
When: Practice 2x a week with participation in various Summer tournaments.