Great Britain’s under-17 water polo girls touched down in Azerbaijan today ahead of the inaugural Baku 2015 European Games.
Head coach Nick Buller and his squad now have three full days of preparation before their opening Group A clash against reigning champions Greece on Friday.
While in the former Soviet State, the GB players and staff will stay in the purpose-built Athletes Village overlooking the 68,195-seater Olympic Stadium, which will host the athletics events and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
“The facilities here look fantastic and we can’t wait to start training fully tomorrow and working on our tactics,” said Buller. “We’re looking forward to the next two weeks and although we know we’re up against some very tough opposition, we’re ready to give our all in every game.”
The water polo tournament is scheduled for 12-21 June and will take place in one of six temporary venues being used for the Games.
The ASA has launched a brand new Water Polo hub which is dedicated to providing the latest news and updates to the Water Polo community.
The ASA Water Polo Management Group, led by the ASA Water Polo Manager Ian Elliot, is pleased to announce the conclusion of initial recruitment to the Group with the appointment of 6 team leaders.
Following the Tunnicliffe review of the sport in Jan 2015, the ASA determined that its recommendations would be used as the framework for the drafting of a detailed strategic and operational plan for water polo. The new ASA water polo plan will set out objectives for the sport, and the approach to achieve the same for the period 2015-2018, with an outline plan for the 10 years to 2025.
In the short term, the newly formed Water Polo Management Group is tasked to formulate that plan and present its proposals to the ASA in October 2015. As part of the planning process and following the Tunnicliffe review, the Group will be considering all aspects of the game including coaching development, match officials’ programs, competition structure, marketing, communication and governance of water polo in England.
The 6 Group team leaders announced today bring extensive business and professional expertise to the planning process, and include business leaders, legal and other professionals, and experts in water polo and other performance sports. All the team leaders have a passion for water polo, close personal ties with the sport, and a desire to see water polo flourish. Each leader will have responsibility for strategic and operational planning in their designated area.
City of Manchester completed a fantastic achievement for the club when the U19 boys and girls teams both won their respective competitions.
City of Manchester secured a second ASA National Age Group Water Polo title for 2015 after beating Croydon Amphibians 5-4 in the Boys’ U19 final at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Having watched their female counterparts win gold in the Girls’ U19 final, the Manchester boys produced a stirring performance to land gold, recovering from 3-1 down to ultimately seal their fourth title with a 5-4 win.Aaron Winstanley scored the winner for Manchester, who also survived a man-down with just 34 seconds left on the clock and Manchester captain Rob Gourley admitted it was the perfect way for the older members of the squad to sign off from age group competition.
“It was a great game,” said Gourley. “To be two goals down in the last game we’re ever going to play together and then for Aaron to score that penalty in the last quarter, especially with the home support behind us, we couldn’t have won it any better way.
“I think that’s the third time this group has won a NAG title so to do it in our last match was great and you could see how much it means to us by how we celebrated.”
Following the withdrawal of funding by UK Sport into Women’s Water Polo the ASA decided to commission a full review of Water Polo within England. The aim of the review was to look at all aspects of the game, from grass roots development, through the talent pathway to elite performance. The review covered the governance structure, development and talent programmes and the competition pathway.
The review was presented to the ASA Sport Governing Board and members of the water polo community on Sunday, 25th January 2015 and was well received by attendees.