Ok, Croatia is known for soccer/football, basketball, but don’t forget water polo. For a small country they consistently rank top 3 in the world, and it’s an incredible feat.

Water polo in Croatia is almost as religious as the football/soccer team Hajduk Split, you can even bet on the games! I went to see a match with my new kiwi friend Tim, we met on Facebook through a mutual friend of course, and he kne w I was in town. We had a great time.

The players stood for their introductions and everyone clapped a little more for the home team on the left.

Two Croatian champion's league water polo teams stand for their introductions
Two Croatian champion’s league water polo teams stand for their introductions

We wandered around the stadium and the entrance to the pool was on top of a roof so wasn’t the easiest to find but we made it and saw three matches; there was a Hajduk Split game going on next door so I was surprised there was anyone there, to be honest. But everyone here, and the stands were pretty full, were very into it. Many looked to be former players and coaches, they got VERY into it.

Here’s a quick snippet of the action:

I’d have to say this is a dream come true for me! I have loved water polo since I started playing it when I was 12. Tim and I had a couple beers afterward at a little place on the Riva called Cafe Bar Dujam and talked about our work and New Zealand. A great night all around.

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Nathaniel Flick