Sacramento Water Polo has made six trips (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019) to the country generally considered the water polo capital of the world: Hungary. First and foremost this trip is a water polo, cultural immersion. It is strongly recommended that athletes have a minimum of one year high school water polo experience. This is an extraordinary opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime water polo experience that overflows with fun, immersion in a beautiful foreign culture, creation of new friendships, and education . . . . oh; and gelato. Lots and lots of gelato . . . .
- All airfare, ground transportation, food, boarding, pool time, tournament entry fees, and most of our cultural excursions are covered in the trip cost. Approximate estimate of $4200 - $4600 for approximately a 12(+) day trip. Final cost is dependent upon round-trip airfare costs, the current value of the American dollar, and the exact length of the trip.
- We typically leave from SFO the Monday after CCZ JO Quals (mid-June) and return sometime around the first week of July.
- Cultural trips and excursions are planned around practices.
- Athletes practice twice a day. 90 minutes to two hours per practice.
- Sacramento Water Polo athletes have competed in tournaments during the trip. It depends upon what other countries are in Hungary training at the same time.
- Budapest, Eger, and Pecs are some of the cities in which Sacramento Water Polo has trained. We train with (against) other local clubs in each respective city.
- Athletes do not need a lot of additional pocket money during the trip. There are only a couple of planned excursions that will involve a fee: The Danube River Cruise, House of Terror Museum, and the Szechenyi Thermal Spa. The total costs for those cultural excursions is less than $50.
Safety: Adult chaperones accompany the Sacramento Water Polo coaches on this trip. Additionally; our Hungarian interpreter and in-country trip leader is present during everything we do. The athletes are safe, supervised, and busy.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Sacramento Water Polo athletes. We try to go every other year in order to give our athletes an opportunity to participate in this immersion. Athletes are closely monitored and chaperoned during the entire trip.
- Space is limited! A maximum of 15 athletes will be placed on a team roster. We will take a girls team and a boys team if we have enough interest.
- A minimum of 10 - 12 athletes are needed for this trip. Fifteen is the number we are really hoping for because that is when the Hungarians begin giving us a group rate. We have traveled with as many as 30 athletes on a single trip. Each trip is unique given the nature of the group.
- Parent chaperones are more than welcome. Chaperones pay the same trip costs as the athletes. Chaperones will have duties during the trip - - primarily to provide a break for the coaching staff.
- Athletes will sign and adhere to a Code of Conduct.
- Athletes must be members of Sacramento Water Polo in order to participate in the Hungary water polo immersion.
Sample Itinerary (Daily):
- Meet at SFO International Terminal. Depart for Budapest.
- Arrive Budapest and take a private bus to Eger - - about a two hour bus ride. Check into hotel. Practice or scrimmage.
- Practice or scrimmage #1. Lunch. Cultural excursion: Tour 16th century castle, underground tunnel, museum. Practice or scrimmage #2. Dinner followed by gelato, fountains, cobblestone streets, more gelato, Eastern Europe at night . . .
- Practice or scrimmage #1. Lunch. Cultural excursion: Escape room within a 17th century building. Practice or scrimmage #2. Dinner followed by gelato, fountains, cobblestone streets, more gelato, Eastern Europe at night . . .
- Practice or scrimmage #1. Lunch. Cultural excursion: Guided private tour of Sport Museum featuring water polo and swimming. Practice or scrimmage #2. Dinner followed by gelato, fountains, cobblestone streets, more gelato, Eastern Europe at night . . .
- . . . . . and this is the pattern for much of trip until we return to Budapest. Once in Budapest; we do not train, we sightsee for a day and a half before returning to the USA. For those parents traveling with their athlete this will be an opportunity for you to have some free time with your athlete. For those athletes who do not have parents with them: The coaching staff and team manger will lead you on excursions during our time in Budapest. There is no "hanging out in the hotel" excursion option . . . . :-) :-)