Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021

AdvertiseDonateSubmit
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

IN THE NEWS:

Community feedback surveyTracking COVID-19 at UCLACrosstown Clash 2021

Men’s water polo razes rays, implements sunscreen defense

(Katelyn Dang/Illustrations director)

By Kyle Boal

Oct. 15, 2021 1:32 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 18 at 1:14 a.m.

Under the sun’s rays at the peak of day, the Bruins are at Spieker Aquatics Center practicing.

No. 1 UCLA men’s water polo (14-1, 1-0 MPSF) spends hours a day perfecting its craft by watching film, running drills and scrimmaging – just like any other sports team in the country.

But when the Bruins go out to the pool in the morning and afternoon hours, they never leave behind one thing – sunscreen.

“I don’t have that much melanin in my skin, so I always wear sunscreen,” said redshirt senior utility Felix Brozyna-Vilim. “We train in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest position, so we get beat on sometimes. The chances of getting skin cancer or damage or anything like that is pretty high, so if you’re not wearing sunscreen you’re going to have some messed up skin later in life.”

Melanin, a pigment in the outermost layer of skin cells, provides protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But overexposure to the sun can cause UV rays to penetrate the skin, damaging the cells in the deeper layers of the skin, causing burns and reducing the skin’s elasticity. Frequent burns and exposure without proper protection can lead to premature aging of the skin or skin cancer.

Sophomore attacker Tanner Pulice – who said he wanted to attend UCLA since participating in a swim camp on campus at age nine – said he’s faced the wrath of the sun’s rays before and has found his favorite sunscreen brand as a result.

“Sunscreen is definitely super prominent playing water polo,” Pulice said. “I’ve been burned pretty badly. I’ve peeled. My face usually gets pretty burnt. I’ve tried just about everything. My favorite sunscreen is called Vertra – it’s a brand that’s made from zinc, and I’ve found that to work the best for me.”

Given the outdoor nature of water polo, sunscreen is used enough in the sport that USA Water Polo has an official partnership with TropicSport, the official provider of sunscreen and skin care products since 2019.

The brand – which claims to be environmentally friendly by using all-natural ingredients and recyclable and reusable bottles – is one of the only on the market to pass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 80-minute and Australian 240-minute water resistance tests.

Freshman attacker Chase Dodd said his team uses sunscreen to avoid the negative effects of a sunburn.

“Me being very, very pale, sunscreen has always been a factor every single time I’d go outside just in general,” Dodd said. “We never want to have a sunburn because every single time you have a sunburn you really don’t feel great the next day, both your skin and also even mentally.”

Based in the city with the most high-ozone days in the country, UCLA is a hub for poor air quality – particularly on hot, sunny days – which can cause a variety of negative health effects including damage to the skin, respiratory and heart issues as well as fatigue.

Redshirt sophomore utility Giorgio Alessandria said he understands the potential negative effects of the sun and makes sure to lather up with sunscreen before every practice and game.

“I tan better than most guys on my team so I don’t have to put on a lot, but I like to put sunscreen on because I’m afraid for my future and how the sun’s going to damage me,” Alessandria said. “There’s guys on my team who are completely painted in sunscreen – practice and games, head to toe.”

In addition to sunscreen, coach Adam Wright said the coaches wear an extra something special on the pool deck to avoid the sun.

“The sun’s a lot when you’re on the water and outside, so sunscreen is important,” Wright said. “As coaches, we wear big straw hats when we need to as extra protection. It’s something we take seriously.”

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Kyle Boal | Sports senior staff
Boal is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the football, men's water polo and swim & dive beats. He was an assistant Sports editor on the gymnastics, rowing, swim and dive, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. Boal was previously a contributor on the men's water polo and women's water polo beats.
Boal is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the football, men's water polo and swim & dive beats. He was an assistant Sports editor on the gymnastics, rowing, swim and dive, men's water polo and women's water polo beats. Boal was previously a contributor on the men's water polo and women's water polo beats.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
Help Wanted

Remote Linux System Administrator I need someone to install updates, complete some projects and to be available for emergency issues that come up now and then with my web server/asterisk PBX servers. Experience required: apache/lets encrypt, sendmail/dovecot, asterisk/freePBX, php/mysql, DNS management and configuration of network gateways Reliability, dependability and excellent communication skills are essential. In an emergency I need someone who can respond immediately, trouble shoot and diagnose the problem and fix the issue. Please call 1.805.322.0005

More classifieds »
Related Posts