Benefits Of Co-Rec Play
One of the most decorated female water polo players in the world, Heather Petri (@PeteIsAGirl) is a PCA National Advisory Board Member. She earned a silver medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and most recently, earned a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Petri started her playing career on a boys' water polo team. As she explains here, the situation could have gone badly had the boys rejected her as a teammate, but they respected her passion for water polo. Despite the boys' skepticism at the beginning, when she showed 100% effort in her play, the team came to accept her and appreciate the role she played.
It also helped Petri’s experience as a girl on a boys' team to have a supportive coaching staff. That helped her teammates accept her and even champion her as she continued to improve en route to her Olympic career.