Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Congratulations, July Baller of the Month, Just Jen!

Name: Jen Donathan (aka Just Jen)

Hometown: Strongsville, OH

Family members?: I have my mom, dad, and brother Jimmy. I’m also married to my husband, Ryan, and have two little fur babies, Carly and Piper.

Where do you live now?: Strongsville – I couldn’t escape, despite my best efforts (it’s pretty great though). 

What is your occupation?: I own my own Project Management and Quality Improvement consulting business, primarily working in emergency medicine and academia!

What is one random fact about you or your job most people don’t know?: In another life, I went to school to be a dolphin trainer and study dolphin cognition. Animal behavior was wayyyy more interesting than people behavior at the time. Funny how things change, but I can still tell you a lot about dolphins.

Years/months playing polo?: Since December 2022, so about a year and a half or so.

Years w/CWPC?: See above.

Favorite CWPC memory: I think it’s a toss-up between Cinnamon Lake in 2023 and this year’s Lake Erie Classic.

Favorite post polo snack & beverage: a Donut Scene donut and a lot of water!

Favorite position to play: Goalie!

What did you think of your first polo tourney?: My first tourney was last year in Indiana. I felt like a total newb but it was so fun, the rush was incredible! And I loved that my teammates were always willing to help coach me throughout. Everyone has been so nice and helpful. We also got to stop at Uranus! Best fudge in the state. 

How many polo suits do you own?: 3 polo suits, and a plethora of other race suits.

What is your favorite part about water polo in general?: Definitely the community and always getting an awesome workout!

Fun fact about yourself: I love weightlifting and kettlebells and am also a theme park junkie. You can’t shut me up about Cedar Point, Disney World, or Universal Studios. #obsessed

How did you get involved with CWPC?: I got back into swimming and was like, this is great, but I need something more...what about water polo? So, I Googled “Cleveland water polo clubs” and the rest was history!

Why do you stick around?: This sport is amazing, and the people are just wonderful. I’ve never felt so welcomed in a sport. 

Favorite quote (just in general): “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe ~

Describe your ideal practice: Summertime, Foster Pool, perfect weather. Can’t beat it!

Favorite piece of water polo advice anyone has ever given you?: Keep your hands up, so you don’t get nailed in the face. 


Anything you want to share with the team? 

Fasten your swim caps....Baby Donathan will be joining us January 2025! Don’t tell Ryan, but I’m already plotting their water polo and/or swimming career. Baby Baller loading...

Congrats to the Donathan family! We can't wait to meet our new teammate!! Glad your "shoulder injury" is healing well.. lol

What Jen's teammates have to say about her ... 

"Jen is such a genuine person. She works hard, continues to learn and challenge herself and above all cares about her teammates!" 

"Best official female CWPC goalie!"


"Jen just always brings a good attitude to the team. Happy, spunky, warm-hearted ..the kind of person you want to have on your squad and also get a drink with post-game."

"She's good people." 

"It took her a few months of playing, but she rightly realized that goalie is the most fun/important/cool position in water polo." 

"I'll never forget when she told me she wanted to focus on goalie only ... its the only time I was disappointed in Jen because I wanted her to stay in the field - she's got a killer shot!

"Jen's enthusiasm and positive attitude is contagious! I'm so glad she joined our team!"

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