Aadith Srinivasan (12) spends his summer days suited up in his classic Harker Eagles speedo by the Harker or Los Gatos pool, playing water polo.
“If I could describe water polo in one word, I would say it’s tough,” he said. “From early morning conditioning to summer practices in the blazing heat to chlorine burning my eyes following a long day of games, the sport has taught me that I have to make sacrifices in order to do something I love.”
He started the sport in sixth grade, but joined the San Jose Express team freshman year. The club, founded by math teacher and Harker water polo coach Dr. Victor Adler, allowed him to further develop his skills with players around the Bay Area. He has competed in various competitions, ranging from the Kap7 tournament to the annual Junior Olympics.
“The first day I went to the 14 [and under] Junior Olympic qualifications, it was very eye opening for me,” he said. “The guys were huge and it really puts into perspective first of all, how big water polo actually is in California,” he said. “It really puts into perspective how much commitment people are willing to put because those guys have probably been playing far longer than most people have.”
At school, he has played on the varsity water polo team since his sophomore year. Recently, he was named captain and MVP of the water polo team.
“[He] leads by example on the field and always sacrifices his own personal goals in order to help out his teammate succeed,” Aadith’s teammate Timothy Chang (11) said.
Although Aadith is a silent yet fiery leader in the pool, outside of playing water polo, he also sets time aside on weekends and over summer to volunteer to teach younger students various subjects, including math and English.
“I tutor some of the kids in math and English,” Aadith explains. “Tutoring kids is a really different experience from most things, but I really enjoy it because you’re teaching them the fundamentals of these subjects, and you play an important role in their learning experience.”
One of his friends, Gary Tsai (12), has also noticed Aadith’s penchant for teaching others, including his peers.
“He’s always very supportive,” Gary said. “He never hesitates to take some of his own time to help others learn, and that’s what I think makes him genuinely a good friend.”