The Women’s team proudly echoing a team cheer before a match. (Photo: Singapore Swimming Association)

With the women’s water polo teams, their bond goes deeper than the pool.

Not only do they train together, but they also spend a lot of their free time together as well. From team meals to video calls over the Circuit Breaker period, the sense of camaraderie in the water polo team culture is apparent.

Victory in the Inter Nations Cup 2022 in May further reinforced the feeling that the bond and team spirit in the national women’s water polo team is the squad's biggest asset.

Building a Bond

 The Women’s team posing for a team photo in the Philippines during the 2019 SEA Games. (Photo: Rochelle Ong)

Regardless of a player’s seniority, age, or ability, the team shares a special bond that transcends what may sometimes be barriers to fostering a good team spirit.

“Every time we travel together for competitions or training camps, it’s like a huge girls trip,” said vice-captain Rochelle Ong.

“We get to experience new countries and cultures together. On these trips, we basically live with each other every day, so we get to learn more about each other and bond over common interests.”

The women’s team spends their fair share of time after training doing a variety of activities together like having group study sessions and going out for meals.

During the height of the pandemic, the team held online training sessions almost every day.

To accommodate the various schedules of each player, they hold sessions well into the evening. This has resulted in them enjoying dinner together virtually over the video conferencing app, Houseparty. On the app they play games, chat and ultimately come together as a team to face an unprecedented situation.

Cultivating a Winning Culture

The water polo women’s team posing for a team photo as they celebrate their win at the Singapore Water Polo Inter Nations Cup 2022. (Photo: Singapore Swimming Association)

Rochelle said that this bond they have built is extended into the pool as recent results have shown.

Rochelle iterates how communication is such a key factor in team sports. In the team, they practise transparent communication and each player is given a platform to voice their opinions on any matter so it can be resolved almost instantly.

They also adhere to a specific set of values that the team and their psychologist have jointly established. The values form the acronym T.E.A.M. Teamwork. Excellence. Accountability. Mindfulness.

These values keep everyone on track and when new players come in, they are made aware of these values and are expected to adhere to them.

The team spirit served the team well in Thailand at the Asian Water Polo Championship as they finished 5th after a tough battle against Korea.

We wish them all the best in their future competitions. Go Team Singapore!