BROOKLYN HEIGHTS. On an unseasonably warm January evening in Brooklyn, a new participant arrived on the New York City youth water polo scene and was immediately embraced.
Asphalt Green—featuring U12 and U16 squads sporting spiffy black and red caps and—ventured outside their spacious Upper East Side environs to scrimmage in the St. Francis College pool. Bela Rex-Kiss, Asphalt Green’s coach and a formerly onthe Terrier’s varsity men’s team, was understandably excited by two milestones taken last Saturday night by his fledgling program.
“This was the first time our Asphalt Green youth team played against another team, and away from our home pool,” he said in an email. “The game was a great learning experience for us. I'm thankful to our hosts and for the support of parents that made it happen.”
Acknowledging the importance of venturing into the Brooklyn youth water polo scene — where the city’s three other clubs reside — Rex-Kiss spoke of additional matches.
“These games are an invaluable opportunity to gain skills and experience, and moving forward Zoli [Danko, coach of the Imagine Swimming Mako Polo team] and I will continue to work together to organize them on a regular basis to the benefit of both teams.”
For Danko, who like Rex-Kiss left Hungary to compete for St. Francis, the scrimmage was a testament to the growth of the sport in the nation’s most populous city.
“We are excited to see another club emerging in the city,” he said via email. “Having Asphalt Green on the youth water polo map will help us creating a NYC league with local teams that can raise awareness of water polo among the thousands of young swimmers in our area.”
Then, striking a note that will be music to the ears of youth polo players all over the city who are eager to compete in one of the region’s finest aquatics facilities, Danko added:
“Hopefully, AGUA will be able to host youth water polo tournaments in the future at their beautiful pool in Manhattan. We look forward to taking the subway to Manhattan for away games.”