Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Signal Item - Focus -- Our Water Polo Clinic gets ink in newspaper

Signal Item - Focus Water polo adds diversity to aquatics program
By Becky Hershberger, Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Swimmers heading to Crafton pool this week can take part in a newly offered water polo clinic.

The program began Monday and runs through Friday, Aug. 11, rain

or shine.

Open to girls, boys and adults alike, program director Mark Rauterkus hopes to attract athletes from the ball sports such as baseball, football and basketball -- goalie sports such as lacrosse, soccer and hockey -- not to mention swimming.

'Water polo adds a lot of diversity to our aquatics program,' he says.

'The kids love it -- they love throwing around the ball.'

Rauterkus, currently an assistant coach with the Crafton Crocodiles, has been coaching at Carlynton Swim Club in the winter.

In prior years he has worked with Green tree's swim team, and formerly coached water polo at Fox Chapel swimming at Plum.

'I'm excited to organize and coach water polo and for the opportunity to extend the swim season for this extra week as a pilot program. Many of the kids have been dedicated and devoted swimmers on the team this summer,' he says.

'Water polo gives another experience to make friends and build conditioning in a fun, vibrant, structured setting.

'Nearly everyone is a rookie in the clinic. Everyone will improve, learn and gain a respect for this Olympic sport.'

The clinic is geared toward novice players and Rauterkus is offering plenty of instruction including drills, skill development, conditioning, game situations and tactics.

The popular Olympic sport has made headlines lately since Slippery Rock University officials cut the school's women's water polo and swim teams -- among other sports -- to save money in January.

A judge later reinstated both last month since officials did not consider compliance with Title IX, a law requiring federally-funded schools to provide equal sports opportunities for men and women.

'A point of interest is that it's being talked about and it's a women's and girls' sport too,' Rauterkus says.

'It's not just a guy thing.'

For more information about the water polo clinic, contact Mark Rauterkus at 412-298-3432 or via e-mail at

No advance registration is necessary. The cost is $5 for the week, or for one visit.

Registration forms are available at the pool or the day of practices.

Swimmers should be able to swim four-lengths of the swimming pool in less than three minutes, (two with their head up and two with the head under).

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