Water polo team makes it’s way to Pan American qualifier

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – In 2008, Armando Ramos founded the Chula Vista Aquatic Club, a water polo team for boys and girls 18 and under, in the hopes of providing them an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have.

“I was raised low income as a kid, so I wanted to bring these kids that don`t have the financial opportunity to join high quality clubs,” he said.

“I thought I wasn’t capable of doing it,” said team member Paola Vizcarra. “I really didn’t have the money and stuff. This actually helped me out. CVAC is like a family.”

Team members like Bryan Murillo commute from as far as Imperial Beach by bus to practice with the team, taking away more than just skills in the pool.

“’I’ve learned that you can actually have a team that you get along with outside the sport that you play,” he said. “They can be your family sometimes.”

“I’ve always inspire my kids to dream high, dream as biggest as you can,” added Ramos. “Let’s do everything possible to achieve those goals one day at a time.”

After taking gold in last year’s Cal State Games, the Girls 18 Under team have their sights set on earning a spot at the Pan American Games and Junior Olympics.

They`ll need a win in Mexico`s National Olympic Youth Water Polo competition to do so.

The girls are Chula Vista natives, but they’re actually competing to represent Mexico, thanks to a special connection Coach Ramos had as an assistant to the Baja team.

“Those who are from Hispanic descent have the opportunity to play in Mexico by representing the state of Baja. It`s still competitive. You still have to win. You still have to prove yourself, but it’s not about money; it’s about talent. We shouldn`t put a price tag on their future.”

According to 13-year-old goalie Daniela Diaz, they are taking a great lesson into the match.

“Coach Armando always says that pain makes you stronger, and I do believe that if you have a struggle, you have to overcome it.  It`s what this team is all about. It`s what water polo is all about. Water polo is life.”

The team wraps competition January 19 in Mexico City.