With the 2022 school year fast approaching, Noozhawk has put together our annual ParentNooz Afterschool Activities Guide. Our guide takes the stress out of planning your child’s afterschool schedule by providing you with all the necessary information when deciding on which afterschool program is the best fit.
To help give parents more information about afterschool programs in Santa Barbara County, Noozhawk has conducted a series of interviews with representatives of local programs for this year’s Afterschool Activities Guide.
In this interview, Noozhawk spoke with Stephen Loomis, Youth Director at Santa Barbara Premier Water Polo Club, to learn more about their afterschool programs here in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Premier Water Polo Club
Question: What is the name of your Afterschool Activity/Program? What is its mission?
Answer: The program is Santa Barbara Premier Water Polo Club. Our mission is to provide a fun environment for beginning athletes to learn water polo fundamentals and allow them to reach the highest levels of competition as they progress in the sport.
Q: When was your program started and what was the inspiration for creating your program?
A: Our program was founded by Wolf Wigo (3x Olympian, 2x World Champion, and Head Coach of Men’s Water Polo at UCSB) to give back to the water polo community by providing programs for all ages, skill levels, genders, races, economic levels to promote awareness and expand access to the sport.
Q: What is the age range for children to take part in your afterschool activity or program?
A: 8-18 years.
Q: Describe a typical day or schedule of your afterschool activity.
A: A typical practice includes swim training, egg beater training, passing/shooting drills, tactical work and scrimmages.
Q: What is the average program size or class size for your activity? Teacher to student ratio?
A: Our practices are divided into age groups with an average of 20 players and a 10-1 coach to player ratio.
Q: What is the protocol for bringing on a new employee or teacher? How are employees vetted before joining your program?
A: All coaches must have a minimum of four years of water polo experience, ideally at the NCAA level. We analyze their technical skills, their ability to communicate those skills in an age-appropriate manner while motivating players to perform at their best both in and out of the pool, individually and as a team.
Q: In what ways is your program educational?
A: In our program our players learn teamwork, problem-solving skills, determination, resilience, and develop self-confidence through overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals.
Q: Describe what makes your afterschool program unique and worthwhile?
A: Our program is for players of all ages, levels of experience, and desire for competition. Whether you are new to water polo, just want to have fun and stay active or you want to compete at the national level our program has numerous elite level water polo coaches. A few examples: Wolf Wigo- 3x Olympian, 2x World Champion, UCSB Men’s Head WP Coach; Stephen Loomis- UCSB Asst Men’s Head WP Coach; and Bryan Snyder- UCSB Alum, Olympic Development Coach.
Q: How do you communicate with parents in case of an emergency?
A: All parents provide emergency Contact information during registration. In an emergency we utilize this information to communicate with the parents and their emergency contacts using their preferred method of contact.
Q: What is the date range and hours of your afterschool activity or program?
A: Our program consists of 3 seasons which runs from September- July for ages 8-14. High school boys and girls do not play during their during the respective high school season.
Q: What is the cost? Are scholarships available?
A: Costs range from $150- $220/ month depending on age group and scholarships are available.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about your afterschool program that was not mentioned above?
A: SB Premier Water Polo strives to create a community among our players, parents, and the greater water polo community along the Central Coast. This sense of community extends from the coaches and older players to the youngers creating a sense of mentorship which elevates our entire club. With the experience of our elite level coaches we can facilitate all players in achieving their goals, from beginners mastering the fundamentals to athletes playing wanting to play in college, and having a blast along the way!
Click here to learn more about Santa Barbara Premier Water Polo Club and their afterschool programs!