It’s hard to imagine a country with just 13 swimming pools.
Three years ago, when Jeremy Piasecki, a Marines warrant officer, began to dream of putting together a national water polo team in Afghanistan to boost the moral of the country’s swimmers, that’s all the fledgling team had to work with.
Now, the dream has grown, and the Afghan team has its collective eye on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. But how does a team with access to so few pools adequately train to compete against the world’s best teams?
It does so with a trip to Southern California.
And that’s where a La Cañada teen enters the picture.
Former Crescenta Valley High School water polo player Sara Giles is calling for local teens from La Cañada, La Crescenta and the Verdugo Hills area to come out to a Hoedown for Charity dance at the Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA on Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to raise money for the Afghan team’s room and board. Commercial airline employees have already pledged to provide transportation for 10 athletes to train in California.