After winning gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Water Polo Tournament and going on to star in the Great Britain U19s team, Manchester teenager Rosie Huck was awarded a sports scholarship to study at American university Arizona State. Read on to find out how Rosie’s first year in the US is going, and how hellish her 2016 has been so far…
“I have just recently returned to Arizona State University (ASU) to continue playing water polo and studying here.
The university is one of the top in the States for water polo, attracting some of the best athletes from across the world. There are players on my team from Australia, Spain, Serbia, Netherlands and China as well as a number of Americans, so competition is fierce for places, and training’s a great level.
There are players on my team from Australia, Spain, Serbia, Netherlands and China as well as a number of Americans, so competition is fierce for places, and training’s a great level
A killer pre-season
Being on the ‘Sun Devils’ elite water polo programme here meant returning to uni a week and a half before the semester started, to participate in the legendary annual ‘hell week', to get the team in top shape before our season starts later in the month.
The week (in fact nine days!) was incredibly tough, involving six hours in the pool each day, as well as plenty of hard gym work, but over the week we developed a lot as individual players and made huge leaps forward as a team.
The ‘hell’ training paid off when we beat a team over from Shanghai in the series of games held over the final weekend.
American uni life
My first semester here at ASU was amazing! So many great experiences, including my first American football game (which consisted mostly of me constantly asking questions about what was happening!) as well as trips with the team to California and Northern Arizona.
Being a student athlete at American university is brilliant as you get to know loads of other athletes on other sports teams because you spend so much time together, and it is great fun to cheer them on during their competitions.
My classes are based around when training is and school here is so much more flexible and covers so many more topics than back in England. My classes are fun and engaging which is helping me to do well academically, as well as in the pool.
The season ahead
I can’t wait to get stuck in to the season and travel with the team. I’m hoping our team can qualify to compete at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Championships at the end of the season, before I head back to England to begin preparing for the U19 European Championships with the Great Britain team in September, where we’re aiming high for a top six finish."