“Swimming and water polo are beautiful in their own way”

Sanvi Gupta: “I started water polo before COVID and I joined a club [when] I was eight or nine and then I stopped during COVID and I joined the school team this year. I was already a swimmer and so that component of swimming, but also ball handling and stuff like that just drew me in. 

Also my mom’s colleague’s son was playing water polo and [he] kind of inspired me. I really looked up to him and he got D1 [when he was] in high school and he was just a really good player, so I thought it was cool.

The club that I was with for water polo was Diablo, but it was really far away from my house so it was kind of hard deciding between swimming and water polo because they were both five days a week. So when I was 11 years old, I chose swimming, but now I’m doing water polo again. I didn’t expect to come back to water polo, I just kind of did it spontaneously and that ended up working out. 

[Swimming and water polo] are beautiful in their own way. Swimming is more independent and it’s kind of like you’re zoning out and [it’s just] cardio, [but] I feel like water polo is more of like a team sport. 

For swimming, I remember I used to have a bunch of anxiety before like races and I was just super nervous, [but] I feel like for water polo, I’m not as nervous. Also for swimming, it’s an instantaneous kind of sport, like it’s only two minutes and if you mess up it kind of ruins the whole thing, but I feel [for water polo] you have more time and your mistakes don’t really matter as much, like you can redeem yourself .  

Swim meets were always really fun with my teammates. Even though I was super anxious and nervous, being around my teammates and talking to them before races was really special. Also, recently, we went to a [water polo] tournament and that was super fun, like bonding with my teammates [along with] the connections, support and making friends. 

While I’m playing these different sports, I feel like I am learning about what I like doing and the type of sport I want to continue doing.” 

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