AWP Hosting Chinese Teams in Italy

rari nantes

Azevedo Water Polo Italy, run by Cassandra Azevedo Maggiolo and Stefano Maggiolo, is scheduled to host a whole roster of new teams this year, including several from China. As a sport, water polo in China is quickly gaining momentum, and the Chinese Team hopes to make a strong showing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It doesn’t hurt that Ricardo Azevedo has been Head Coach of the Chinese National Team since 2011, creating a liaison between clubs and athletes in China, the US, Italy and beyond.

The following Press Release (translated into English) discusses the Shanghai Team currently training in Italy this week. Next week, yet another Chinese team from Guangzhou will arrive in Italy to practice with Rari Nantes Camogli.

The Azevedo Water Polo team is excited to be hosting so many new and interesting teams this year, and we only plan to continue expanding from here on out. Don’t forget to sign up for our Email Newsletter for future updates!


The Chinese Shanghai water polo team trained yesterday night at the Zanelli Pool with the Blu Shelf Carissa Savona Team. The Shanghai team had already traveled to Italy last year to train, and wanted to return again this year to practice at this notable Savona water polo school. The Shanghai team includes several members of the current Chinese National Team as well as a few former members. “Physically, they are very talented and well-prepared ”, said Savona Coach Andrea Pisano. “We have experienced a good level of training both physically and tactically.”

Next Wednesday Rari Nantes Camogli will host yet another Chinese Team—this time from Guangzhou.

Laura Sicco

20022012 savona rari nantes


La squadra cinese dello Shangai si è allenata ieri sera nella piscina Zanelli con la Blu Shelf Carisa Savona. Lo Shangai era già venuto lo scorso anno ed ha voluto ritornare ad allenarsi all’ombra della Torretta vista la bontà della scuola savonese di pallanuoto. Nella formazione cinese militano diversi giocatori facenti parte della Nazionale attuale ed alcuni che ne hanno fatto parte nel recente passato. “Fisicamente sono molto dotati e ben preparati – commenta l’allenatore savonese Andrea Pisano – E’ stato un allenamento di buon livello sia dal punto di vista fisico che tattico”.

Mercoledì prossimo la Rari ospiterà un’altra squadra cinese: lo Guangzhou.

Laura Sicco

Shanghai Water Polo Club

There are currently five Men’s Water Polo clubs in China. Four of them are run by the Local Sports Bureau and one is run by a school. There are seven Women’s Water Polo clubs, two of which are run by schools.

In China, there are usually three National tournaments involving water polo each year. The first are the National Water Polo Games, which are held over 5-6 days in either April, May or September. The second tournament is called the National League Competition that consists of four teams (both visitors and local teams) that play three games each over a two-day period. The final championship is called National Champions and is usually held in October.

The Shanghai Water Polo Club was established in 1959 and has won the National Water Polo Games 15 years since that date. They are also three-time gold medal champions of the National Sports Games, which is a huge Olympic-type event that takes place in China every four years.

According to Mao Ling Yun, the assistant coach of the National Team and the head coach of the Shanghai Club, water polo is not yet very popular in China. He reports that children usually being playing the water polo at age 12 or 13, which is very late for beginning a sport in China. The only two high schools that currently have water polo sporting events are the Beijing Senior High School in Beijing and the Chengdu Sports University in the Sichuan Province.

Up until this point, no foreigners have every played on Chinese club teams, but the Chinese league hopes to change this soon. Mao Ling Yun stated that the senior officer of water polo and other various departments will discuss expansion possibilities following the 2013 National Sports Games.

Camogli 4

Rari Nantes Camogli Water Polo Club

Spotlight on the Professional League

Camolgi LogoRari Nantes Camogli was established in 1914 and is one of the oldest professional Italian water polo clubs.  During that time, and into the 1950’s, water polo was mostly played in the sea: on the Liguria coast, the Naples area, in Sicily and even in the Arno river running through Florence.

Rari Nantes Camogli played their home games in the small port of Camogli, which still exists today but only as a holding place for boats, yachts and fishing vessels.  Rari Nantes was famous for its passionate fans and won six Italian Championships from 1935 to 1957.

In the 1970’s, Camogli was led by coach Mino Di Bartolo, who worked with all age groups and rejuvenated the entire program.  During this time, Camogli flourished on a national level, with Ferrari in the goal, and Casazza, Antonucci, Crovetto and Massimo Fondelli on the roster.

Continuing into the 1980’s, Camogli acquired important sponsors and several top players including German left hander Frank Otto (1984/1985/1986) and Gianni De Magistris, considered one of the best Italian players of all time.  Other famous foreigners that have played at Camogli include Sergey Kotenko (Russian, Captain of the USSR National Team, 1990) and Alexander Sapic (Serbian, considered one of the best attackers in the world, 2002/2003/2004).

In 2010, American Coach Ricardo Azevedo brought Camogli back into Division I, where they remain today.  The team was ranked 7th in 2011 and 6th in 2012 (out of 12 clubs). Camogli currently has a very strong Junior Team (under 15/17/19) and believes that these players will help the club to remain stable and grow as a top team in Division I.

Director Riccardo Ginocchio says that Camogli has historically had a good relationship with its foreign players and hopes to attract more foreigners (including Americans) in the future.  Ginocchio sites American player Jeff Tyrell as having had a positive influence on the team during the 2010/2011 seasons and believes that foreigners “are able to give a valid contribution to increase the quality of our team and in general help and assist our young players to better grow and learn”.

For more details on life in Camogli as a foreign player, see this month’s feature interview with Jeff Tyrell.  (coming soon!)

Rari Nantes Camogli Water Polo Club 2012

The Players



Home Team

Goalie Francesco Ferrari
Center Def Slobodan Nikic Pro Recco
Defender Tommaso Orena Pn Trieste
Attacker Stefano Luongo
Center Luca Fondelli
Defender Davide Steardo Chiavari Nuoto
Center Matteo Starita Rn Savona
Defender Giuseppe Valentino Ss Nervi
Attacker Ivan Sukno Jug Dubrovnik (Cro)
Center Luca Cupido
Attacker Nicholas Presciutti Ss Lazio Nuoto
Center Def Olexandr Sadovyy
Goalie Lorenzo Gardella

The Management

Sport Director BOGDAN TUFAN

General Team Information

Address Via Figari, 42 – Camogli
Telephone and Fax 0185.776658 – 0185.776522
Founding Year 1914
Team Colors Bianconero (Black and White)
Record 6 Titles
Home Pool Piscina Giuva Baldini
Address and Telephone Via Figari, 42 Camogli, 0185.776658
Sponsor Turbo