Rain City Water Polo tabs new leader
By JOSH SUMAN
Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
April 28, 2011 · Updated 1:52 PM
Seattle based non-profit Rain City Water Polo named John Jacobson to its Executive Director position at the Bellevue Athletic Club's Atrium on Saturday. Rain City Water Polo was founded in 2010 by a group of coaches in the area including Evan Kaseguma, who also founded the Bellevue High School water polo program in 1998.
Kaseguma cited Jacobson's familiarity with the water polo community in the area, his diverse coaching background and his exceptionally strong business acumen as chief among the reasons he was tabbed to lead the program. "He's really tied in with the water polo scene," Kaseguma said of his new Executive Director adding, "Not only do we feel good about his ability to coach, but his abioity to run a program."
Jacobson, who was raised on Mercer Island and played water polo for the Islanders in high school, is excited about the opportunity to come back to the area and help to grow water polo in the community.
The Whittier College grad said he hopes to increase the level of awareness and participation in water polo to the level of lacrosse and would someday soon like to have a team at every high school on the Greater Eastside and in Seattle. Currently, Kaseguma estimates roughly 40 percent of Rain City's athletes come from parts of Bellevue.
The club will take a two-headed approach under Jacobson, offering both an introductory service to develop interest from those who are completely unfamiliar with the game, "something where the younger kids will feel safe and have some fun," according to Jacobson. Rain City will also have competitive teams that he said will travel to face other elite clubs and represent Seattle-area water polo. "We want to be a nationally competitive program," Jacobson said.
Along with gaining that national recognition in the water polo community, Jacobson hopes to tap into the area's rich pool of talented young athletes and eventually have enough teams to form a league. Currently, the only other programs in the area are Pacific Northwest United Water Polo, which trains at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way and Puget Sound Water Polo in Lakewood.
After prepping at Mercer Island, Jacobson played water polo during his time at Whittier College and was a graduate assistant for both the men's and women's teams while in graduate school at California Lutheran.
For more information on Rain City Water Polo, visit their website here.