Hello, my name is Rylee Williams and I am a part of the Olympic Development Program. This program allows young athletes to one day accomplish their goals and possibly be an Olympian. There are different levels in this program and they are the Developmental team, the Cadet team, the Youth team, the Junior team, and the Senior team. I am currently on the Developmental National Team but it took a lot of hard work to get to where I am now.
It all starts off with your zone team. A zone is a certain region of a state and all of the athletes in that zone play on a team together. I play for the Coastal Zone. My team and I would practice at least once a month to prepare for Regionals. Regionals is a huge tournament and selections for the first camp, the National Team Selection Camp, are made at the end. Coastal Zone took fourth place at Regionals and when that was over, the selections occurred.
Many of my teammates, myself included, were selected to attend the National Team Selection Camp. However, in order to attend that camp, we had to raise a total of $1,250. I wouldn’t have been able to attend this without your help so thank you very much for your donation and support.
This camp lasted four days and about seventy girls were selected to attend. Throughout the course of this camp, coaches evaluated all of the players and decided who would be making the Developmental National Team. At the end of the camp, I was exhausted but all of my hard work paid off when I was selected for the team.
The top twenty-eight athletes that were selected attended another camp. However, this camp was more relaxed and more fun than the National Team Selection Camp. We all got to know each other better and the coaches were more exciting to be around. We also got new National Team gear which included a new bag, a suit, a jacket, sweat pants, and a shirt. By the end of this camp, all of the athletes and coaches were more comfortable with each other and it was just an overall great experience.
I now have another camp to look forward to which will take place at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. At this camp, I will be training with the Developmental team and the Cadet team which will better prepare me for the higher level water polo next year. This year has been such a great experience for me and has helped me become a better water polo player. Thank you again for all of your help because without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far.