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07 Jul 2009
A group of Water Polo players have just returned from training and competing in Greece as part of their apprenticeship in sporting excellence with the England Talent Team.

The 12 girls and 14 boys are enrolled in the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme that aims to help young people excel in sport (their main career goal), while continuing with their education.

The girls, despite an early morning start from Gatwick and with only an hour’s preparation time locally, took on a local Greek club narrowly losing 15-13 in the match.

Unfortunately, the Greek championships meant that the girls had no further games, although their hosts went on to win the Greek Championship finals two days after their narrow win.

The boys won all of their four games during their stay, including a tough encounter with junior members of the Partizan Belgrade Water Polo Club, who were also holding a training camp in Greece.  Partizan are regarded as one of the best and most famous club sides in the world.

David White, Team Manager, said: “Both teams worked hard and gained a great deal of experience, throughout their camps.”   

The athletes competing were:
Joel Abbot Invicta / Worthing
Alan Benton Invicta
Oliver Bray Invicta
Shaun Greatorex Castleford
Andrew McGinty City of Manchester
Joseph O’Regan City of Manchester
Marc Robinson Lancaster
Dean Smith City of Manchester
Ziggy Tate Invivta
Conor Dean City of Manchester
Michael Grantham Castleford
Alastair Hardinge Worthing
Scott Martin Invicta / Worthing
Ben Richardson  Walsall

Georgina Dutton Sheffield
Ripley Fidler Sheffield
Amelia Gale Leeds
Emma Griffths Sheffield
Emily Naughton Sheffield
Victoria Vallance Sheffield
Lucinda Wannop Lancaster / City of Manchester
Kathryn Fowler Solihull
Amy Furness City of Manchester
Hayley Langbridge Liverpool
Lauren McGinty City of Manchester
Lauren Whitney City of Manchester


Note to editors: AASE is a Government funded initiative that has been designed to meet the needs of young people (aged 16-18) who have the realistic potential to achieve excellence in their sport and are seeking to perform at the highest level as their main career goal, whilst continuing with their education. 

Notionally taking two years to complete, the AASE framework will provide for the first time a structured national training and development route across all sports for talented young athletes, many of whom may go to represent their country on the world stage.

The apprenticeship is the first to offer elite and potentially elite athletes to achieve proper recognition of the skills, knowledge and understanding they are developing/gaining in their quest for excellence.

For more information contact the ASA PR Manager Sharon Rose on 01509 632262, 07876 652318 or email sharon.rose@swimming.org

The ASA is the English National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Open Water, and Synchronised Swimming. It organises competition throughout England, establishes the Laws of the Sport and operates comprehensive certification and education programmes for Teachers, Coaches and Officials as well as its renowned Learn To Swim Awards scheme. The ASA supports 1,220 affiliated swimming clubs through a National/Regional/County structure. The ASA aims to ensure everybody has an opportunity to learn to swim.

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