domenica 14 settembre 2014

Hungarian water polo expo and all-star event: The verdict!

Saturday morning at 9 o’clock the doors opened to the first ever water polo expo event in Budaörs, Hungary. The market stands were ready, the clubs were ready, the players were ready, and the organisation was ready. A lot had been said and done ahead of this revolutionary event and the expectations were high. All that was left to be done was to wait for the fans to show up. When they did, the event transformed into a never seen before spectacle where fans could finally meet all their heroes in person. Children chasing around the players while trying to complete their autograph and photo wish list. Even adults that felt the excitement of their younger years again as they waited in line for a smile from Gergely Kiss, a wink from Tamás Kásás, or a pat on the back from Márton Szivós.
The entire day clearly had one goal in mind, to please the fans. Please the people who cheer and boo, who laugh and cry, together with the actions in the pool. Saturday, was their day.

Hungarian national team captain Dániel Varga emphasizes how important the fans are for water polo when he is asked if the expo was worth the travel from Szolnok to Budaörs.
“I always say that as long as these kinds of events are organized and the fans are interested in us players, it is definitely worth the effort! This is a “burden” that comes from the love and appreciation of the fans. Whatever we need to sacrifice to be here, that what comes back in return is worth so much more.”(source –

Szolnok colleague Viktor Nagy confirms the words of Varga.
“I arrived and could only set a few steps into the expo before children and parents all gathered for autographs and photos! But that is fantastic. A lot of people in Hungary love water polo and it was about time that somebody made this event happen.” (source – Digi Sport)

Highlight of the day was the exhibition match of Hungarian first division players and several stars from the past. Olympic champions like Tamás Kásás, Tamás Varga and Bulcsú Székely teamed up with youngsters such as Tibor Fazekas (Honvéd), Sándor Illés (Honvéd), and Krisztián Bedő (Eger) to entertain the audience in a game of 3 times 10 minutes. Added to this remarkable mix of past, present, and future were Viktor Nagy (Szolnok), Zoltán Szécsi (Kaposvár), Márton Lévai (Honvéd), Miklós Gór-Nagy (OSC), Norbert Hosnyánszky (Eger), Dániel Varga (Szolnok), Bence Fülöp (Honvéd), Norbert Madaras (Szolnok), Balázs Erdélyi (Eger), Gergely Kiss (Honvéd), Márton Tóth (Szolnok), Dániel Angyal (Eger), Barnabás Steinmetz (Honvéd), Ádám Decker (OSC) and Márton Szivós (Eger).

Photograph: Sandor Stuber /

In short, the fans loved it and the players also enjoyed themselves.
This event was the first step in a quest to ensure the future of water polo and help the sport get the attention and admiration that it deserves. Head organizer István Gergely finally says: “This was a milestone for water polo. I am not expecting everything to suddenly be colorful again because of one event, but we have at least set something in motion. This is what we need to build on.” (source –

Report: Kevin Vernooij.

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