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09 Jul 2009
Prince William was among the many supporters who cheered on the British Women’s Water Polo team to an emphatic victory over Slovakia at the LEN European Nations Trophy in Manchester.

The Prince watched the British team win the match 17-6 before meeting athletes and key figures within the sport and business communities as a show of support for British Water Polo athletes as they prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.

Prince William is passionate about the sport and while at St Andrew’s University was a keen member of the water polo team. In 2004 he was selected to represent Scotland Universities in an international tournament and while serving in the Army also played water polo.

“Water polo is very personal to me,” said Prince William. “I used to play regularly and it’s a fantastic game. It’s physical, competitive and really engaged me.

“Tonight we saw a fantastic performance from the British women’s team. It was a stunning match and I hope more people have the chance to see our water polo players in action, and get behind the teams.

“It would be great to see more children playing water polo and enjoying swimming as I found it great fun.”

Prince William’s support of British water polo has been warmly welcomed by British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes.

“The atmosphere in the Manchester Aquatic Centre tonight was electric as water polo’s number one fan Prince William inspired the British women’s team to their third win in succession.

“It was a convincing victory over a strong Slovakian team and the Prince clearly enjoyed the game. He is a strong supporter of the teams and asked if he could be kept informed in the future of the water polo programme in Britain.”

In 2005, many athletes decided to pursue their Olympic dreams and gave up education and employment to move to Manchester where British Swimming’s High Performance Water Polo Centre is based.

However, following a funding cut of 75%, many face real financial hardship as they continue to prepare for London.

As a result of the funding cut, the water polo programme itself has been split with the women continuing to prepare in Manchester while the men will eventually be based offshore with professional clubs to continue their development.


For further details contact Dave Richards, British Swimming Media Manager, on 01509 632237, 0778 992 6136 or email dave.richards@swimming.org

For details of the LEN European Nations Trophy CLICK HERE

About British Swimming

British Swimming is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain.  It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport. The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (ASA), Scotland (Scottish ASA) and Wales. (Welsh ASA)  British Swimming seeks to enable its athletes to achieve gold medal success at the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games. 

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The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo® is passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations. Supporting swimming from grass-roots through to elite level, including the phenomenal Michael Phelps, Speedo® is owned by Speedo Holdings B.V and distributed in over 170 countries around the world; SPEEDO, the ARROW device, FASTSKIN, LZR PULSE, SPEEDO ENDURANCE, FLIPTURNS, FASTSKINFSII, SPEEDO BIOFUSE, SWYM and LZR RACER are registered trademarks of Speedo Holdings B.V. The LZR RACER suit has worldwide design rights and patents pending.

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