George Washington men's water polo alumnus Bill Richardson has traveled nearly 7,000 miles to teach the sport he loves.
Richardson, a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who currently resides in Detroit, is the assistant coach of the Afghanistan National Water Polo Team. Together with the program's head coach and executive director, Richardson is spending a month in Kabul, Afghanistan, working with the national team.
"Water polo is gaining popularity due to the Afghan people's love of swimming and love of sport," said Richardson. "There are new private pools being built constantly in Kabul and other cities which will only help grow the sport. Our goal is to teach the team techniques for training that will help them train when we are not present in Kabul. From swimming techniques to water polo drills to game strategy, our goal is to give them the tools to step up to the next level of international play."
A center defender, Richardson was a four-year member of the GW men's water polo team from 2005-08. He graduated from GW in 2010 with bachelor's degrees in history and archaeology.
While in Foggy Bottom, Richardson read about the team forming in Afghanistan, and after graduation he sent an email asking to help. His involvement with the team began in 2013, and he currently serves as an assistant coach while also helping with the fundraising efforts. However, this is his first trip to Afghanistan.
"This country is amazing," Richardson said. "It's kind of like being in the Wild West at times, but the people are awesome and the country itself is beautiful. The players are making tremendous progress; they are working hard and are very appreciative of the support from the donors and coaches."