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Chris Bakkie Honored as 2018 USA Water Polo Volunteer of the Year

Chris Bakkie, President of Des Moines Water Polo, Inc., was honored with the USA Water Polo Barbara Kalbus Distinguished Volunteer Award for the Midwest Zone. As established in 2010, the award honors of a person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the sport. Chris has been active in water polo since the 1970s and, in 1984, coordinated the National Junior Olympics water polo competition in Iowa City. The next summer, he was instrumental in organizing the first Des Moines Water Polo Tournament, recruiting the best teams from the Midwest to participate. This past summer marked the 33rd anniversary of the tournament and of Chris as tournament director.

As a master’s player, coach and referee, Chris has shared his passion for Water Polo, with his family, in the water, on the deck and in the boardroom. Regularly referencing the life skills learned from this great team sport. In 2016, Des Moines Water Polo was incorporated as a nonprofit organization to promote and encourage participation in competitive water polo activities and events and to provide instruction for all levels and all ages in Iowa. That same year, the board elected Chris as president of the newly formed nonprofit, a position he has filled every year since.

The national volunteer of the year was selected in January from the 11 zone winners. The Midwest Zone is comprised of Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and Kentucky.

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