Aquatic Water Polo

Aquatic Games Back In Long Beach Thanks To Tony Azevedo

Tony Azevedo is bringing the Aquatic Games back to Long Beach on June 21-23 at Ken Lindgren Aquatics Center on the campus of Long Beach State.

The Aquatic Games are sponsored by 6-8 Sports and are the brainchild of five-time water polo Olympian and silver medalist Tony Azevedo. The Wilson High alum started the weekend water polo festival two years ago.

“It’s amazing to have so many Olympians, high-level coaches and veterans of the sport working one-on-one with the next generation of water polo athletes,” Azevedo said. “We invite all members of the local community to join us on deck to observe, mingle and enjoy. My vision with this program is to strengthen the value of our tightly knit sport community here in Long Beach and I’m excited to continue to grow each year and eventually add other sports.”

Registration is open for ages 8-14, and all of the participants enter as individuals. They will then get evaluated through the 6-8 Challenge skill assessment, and placed on All-Star teams.

The Aquatic Games also has a great group of coaches, including Long Beach’s own Ryan Bailey, Bruce Bradley, Ricardo Azevedo and Jackie Frank de Luca. Bailey is a four-time Olympian and silver medalist, Bradley is a two-time Olympian, bronze medalist and USA Hall of Fame President. Ricardo Azevedo is a three-time Olympic coach, and de Luca is also an Olympian.

Athletic trainer and chiropractor Dr. Karen Bloch also will be running a seminar on injury prevention, and physical therapist Kenny Schroder will teach strength training.

Azevedo has said many times that it’s important to hold the Aquatic Games in the Long Beach community, and local sponsors include The Aquatic Capital of America and Olympix Fitness. All medals are produced by University Trophies & Awards, and the event will be fully catered by Grand Food & Beverage.

Athletes will meet their coaches and teammates, take team pictures and enjoy live music and games at the opening ceremonies on June 21. There will be an on-deck VIP, off-deck concessions and a water polo-themed wine and beer garden. Guests and spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend. An updated schedule will be posted on the official event website: theaquaticgames.com/schedule.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.