FINA Communications Department

Swim&Play Ball is a FINA Development Programme addressed to all National Federations with the aim to provide a comprehensive road map for the initiation of water polo activities. This development initiative is a step forward following the successful FINA’s programme “Swimming for All – Swimming for Life” that was launched to propose a universal plan with standard criteria to teach people how to get acquainted with water.

The Swim&Play Ball programme is a guide throughout the introduction stage for boys and girls who will go on to join a water polo club and participate in grassroots or age-group water polo competitions.

The launch of the programme is accompanied by the Swim&Play Ball manual as well as complementary video material that provides basic knowledge for water polo instructors in order to assist them introducing the discipline to children aged between 7–9 who can already swim, those new to the sport, or beginners regardless of age. The manual presents a combination of selected water polo skills and tools in a simple and progressive way and offers guidelines concerning the teaching principles and methodology, as well direction on how to plan and implement the courses.

On the occasion of the launch, FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione said:

“FINA is inevitably linked with elite sport, but the medals, the glory, and the top-level performances are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg: the benefits of the sport for our younger generations. The success of this initiative will then be measured by the joy of the children taking part in it. This is inevitably a winning strategy for FINA: bringing more and younger people to the sport will raise their physical abilities, improve their health, and make them better citizens.”

The Swim&Play Ball programme is endorsed and supported by one of the greatest coaches of all time, Ratko Rudic, who is also Chairman of the FINA Water Polo Development Sub Committee and Denes Kemeny, Vice Chairman of the FINA Coaches Committee.

The authors of the manual are Ildiko Szedlmayer, former water polo player that was part of Hungary’s first female water polo team, and Yiannis Giannouris, member of the Greek national water polo team in the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

To find out more about the programme and consult the manual, please follow this link