Youngsters take to the pool for Water Polo at the Sainsbury’s UK School Games 2011

16 Sep 2011

The Sainsbury’s UK School Games from the 1st – 4th September 2011 brought over 1,600 athletes to the City of Sheffield in a multi sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes of school age.

The UK School Games is an event which provides young people with an opportunity to experience what it is like to compete at the highest level of competition.

Over 180 of these athletes could be found at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre for 2 days of tough swimming competition. However the UK School Games was not only a success for the competitive swimmers; with thanks to the ASA North East Region 20 young people aged between 8 and 12 were given the exciting opportunity to take part in a Water Polo Legacy event hosted by Sheffield Water Polo Club.

The session on Saturday 3rd September provided young people with the chance to ‘come and have a go’ at one of the most exciting and fast paced aquatic disciplines, it also provided young coaches from Sheffield Water Polo Club with a chance to bring their skills to the day and share their knowledge of the game. The team were also joined by two of GB’s promising players for 2012, Fran Leighton and Vicky Bowen.

Fran Leighton, “I have had a fantastic day; events like this are needed to carry on the 2012 legacy into the future. It is great to see so many kids are keen to give it a go, but what is really excellent to see is the young coaches that all wanted to come to give something back. We need lots more days like this one in the lead up to 2012!”

The session consisted of the basic water polo skills which are required to play the game; this included treading water, shooting, blocking, positioning and match tactics. The young coaches created a great atmosphere with their enthusiasm for the game evidently rubbing off on the young players. Not only were the coaches assisting from the poolside, they took to the water and got involved in all of the activities.

Grace, aged 9,

    I have never played water polo before but I’ve had a really good time, my favourite part of the day was learning how to shoot at goal.

Matt, aged 8, I have never played water polo before either and my favourite part was definitely playing a match.”

To find out more information about the aquatic discipline of Water Polo or to find out how you could get involved visit

Team of swimmers

Water polo at school games 2011

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