By Bailey Moreton
Rodrigo Rojas wrapped up his five-year career with the Carleton Ravens men’s water polo team after a 7-0 loss to the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Finals on November 27.
Rojas joined the Ravens in 2011 and won two OUA championships with the team. In 2015, he was recognized as the OUA men’s water polo player of the year, and named to the men’s all-star team.
Whilst playing on the water polo team, Rojas completed a commerce degree in marketing with a co-op.
The Charlatan spoke with Rojas about his career as a Raven and future plans with the sport.
The Charlatan (TC): So now you are done water polo, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Rodrigo Rojas (RR): Well, I’m currently coaching part-time at a local water polo club in Ottawa called Capital Wave. I’m coaching there five, six times a week so I’m busy with that and school which takes up most of my time. But also I was manager for the national team, the junior, and the youth national team the past two summers, so if I’m doing that again I’ll be doing some pre-planning around April or May for whatever tournament the national team has.
(TC): So you’re obviously staying involved in the coaching aspect of the game, will you continue playing?
(RR): I’m going to be looking towards more playing in Europe, possibly in Spain. It doesn’t have to be first division or one of the top divisions, but I want to continue playing. I’ve been there once to Barcelona, I really liked it and I have some contacts there and they have a pretty developed league [in Spain], there’s five divisions there and we have already contacted some people. That’s definitely looking positive for summer. I’m not sure if it’s professional, I’d just be playing for a club team and I’d try and find something related to my marketing degree and play water polo in the evenings and the weekend.
(TC): What was the highlight of your career as a Raven?
(RR): I think the highlight for most of us would be last year in 2015 where we won [OUA] against Toronto in a shootout. That year we had a pretty experienced team but I don’t think it was as experienced as the U of T, they went ahead five goals but we managed to tie the game, and then score the final winning goal in the shootout with the crowd going wild, and just the adrenaline, I think it was the highlight of mine and the rest of the team’s also.
(TC): What was your best personal moment or performance?
(RR): I think it was that 2015 last game that we won in the shootouts, I had the privilege of shooting the last five meter, and then Yurek [Hurrelman] made a good stop in the shootout, which meant we won the game.
(TC): What will you miss most about being a Raven?
(RR): Everyone is very welcoming, the people that work at Athletics, everyone is friendly and well organized with the team and the school, it’s a great school to attend as a student athlete. I’ll miss the routine, even though sometimes you’re practicing six times a week with weights and then a five-class courseload, it can be tough, but Carleton holds one of the top two water polo programs in Canada, so it’s a great place to play.