- KOB 4 | ABQ water polo instructor headed to Afghanistan to teach sport to women
- Newsletter: Women Break Ground with National Water Polo Team
- Athlete Spotlight: Ebrahim Rajabi
- Newsletters: January – March 2015
- Military Times | Marines help coach Afghanistan’s first water polo team
- GWsports.com | Men’s @GW_WaterPolo Alum Coaching in Afghanistan
- Village News | Piasecki to train the Afghanistan National Water Polo Team
Who We Are
While U.S. Marine Jeremy Piasecki was stationed in Afghanistan, he wanted to share the sport he grew up playing in Southern California — water polo — with the Afghan soldiers and community he was serving. Of course, in a country with only twelve pools in total, none of which are Olympic size, the success of such a vision was in doubt.
But like all Marines, Piasecki simply would not be deterred from his objective. After many months of locating and filling usable swimming pools and recruiting, conditioning, and training athletes from among the few in the country who could swim, the Afghanistan National Water Polo Team selected its first members.
Today, officially sanctioned by the Afghanistan Olympic Committee, the Afghanistan National Water Polo team is currently training in their home country under the guidance of American coaches. Carrying with them a dream of qualifying for the Olympic games, these young athletes will learn from and contribute to host communities in Southern California. While bonding as a team and gaining a wider perspective on the Western world, they will take their first steps toward representing their country — one deserving of more positive athlete role models — in international competition.
Afghanistan Water polo is a joint effort by a global team of individuals united by a love of water polo and a desire to provide more athlete role models to a country deserving of them.
Head Coach and Executive Director
Jeremy Piasecki is from Fallbrook, CA, and currently resides in Stuttgart, Germany. A reserve Marine on active duty, Jeremy is married with two children. Jeremy has been coaching swimming and water polo full time for the past seven years. He created the first water polo team in Afghanistan, 201st Corps Swim and Water Polo Team, in 2008. Another Swim and Water Polo Team team in Helmand Province followed in 2010. In 2008, the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee tasked him to lead the national water polo program.
Olaf Kosar live in Sindelfingen, Germany, where he studies electrical engineering (and is in the middle of his thesis). His hobbies are water polo, skiing and snowboarding. He started playing water polo 8 years ago, and his team is in the current “Oberliga.” He has been coaching the sport for the past two years (luckily they know how to swim).
Director of International Relations
Scott D. Caruso is a mutual fund accountant and small business owner from Chicago with a background in management and volunteer work. He is a DePaul University graduate and a former Marine. His involvement in Afghanistan Water Polo stems from a desire to serve the global community through promoting peace and stability in a volatile region.
Director of Development
Courtney Hilborn was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, where she grew up swimming and doing gymnastics, sports she has coached for over 10 years. She has worked as a civilian contractor to the United States Marine Corps as a Family Readiness Officer. She enjoys spending time with family, doing sports, playing with her dogs, and helping non-profit organizations.
Lucas is a military veteran with a background in logistics, consulting, and technology. Recent experience and education focused on project management, providing structure and direction to small groups/teams, and continuous improvement methodologies. Lucas holds a master’s degree in project management from Penn State University.
Board of Directors
Leilani Piasecki was born and raised in Southern California and currently resides in Stuttgart, Germany, with her husband, two children, and their family dog. Growing up in the sun and sand was the perfect environment for her to become a competitive swimmer throughout school. She was the owner/operator of an ice cream shop for 8 years. Currently, Leilani is working for Department of Defense Schools. Traveling, supporting her children at youth sports, cheering Jeremy on while he continues to play water polo, and enjoying her time overseas are among her favorite hobbies.
Bahram Hojreh started playing water polo at the age of 6 in Southern California and has been coaching the sport for a little over 20 years. He played for legendary hall of fame college coach Ted Newland at the University of California – Irvine where the Men’s Division 1 NCAA team ranked top 4 nationally each year. With a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the California State University – Long Beach, Bahram has helped develop numerous American men and women Olympians in one way or another through his club, high school, and collegiate programs over the years. Currently Bahram is the President and Executive Director of International Water Polo Club primarily based on Los Alamitos, CA, with a day office job in Irvine, CA, helping manage a computer tech firm.
Graduated from USC (BSME) in 83, commissioned into the USMC.
Active duty A4 pilot and reserve Forward Air Controller; retired 2005.
Hired at Northwest Airlines in 1990; currently flying 737’s for Delta out of LAX.
Married Louise (Swift) in 1985; three children- David (24), Andrew (22), and Mark (19).
Confirmation teacher and Extraordinary minister of the Most Holy Eucharist at St Angela Merici Parish in Brea, CA.
Commissioner for the City of Brea’s Parks, Recreation and Human Services Commission and Board Member of the Park Paseo Homeowners Association.
Seth G Mason
Seth G. Mason, age 49, began his career in the financial services industry in 1986 and has been employed by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney since 1992. Seth currently resides in Grand Rapids, MI, and is a native of Chicago, Illinois. He received his B.A. from DePauw Univ in 1984 and his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1986. Seth swam and played water polo competitively throughout his school years and truly enjoys the sport. He also served the in the US Navy Reserves. In addition to being on the Board of the Afghan Water Polo Team, he has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, Kids Food Basket, Grand Rapids Public Schools Mentor Program, and Spectrum Health Foundation/DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Bio coming soon.