Woman up - the monthly blog of the GB Women’s Water Polo Team - September update
Keep up with the Women’s GB Water Polo team through their monthly blog. This month, Rachel Drabble and Angie Winstanley-Smith build up to the new season with a tour of Germany.
We know it will make us higher, faster and stronger - this is Sly's favourite quote and some players have been heard to repeat it in their sleep.
After a month’s holiday, we all felt rested and ready to dominate but we had a limited time to get our fitness up in time to face Germany as part of their pre-European Championship preparation.
When we got to Germany the weather was fine and we settled into a well-selected hotel. We weren’t sure what to think when we arrived to find a Bentley, Rolls Royce and BMW sitting outside the hotel. But we had some delicious food throughout and the beds were made to sink into!
We did extremely well in the first training session, beating the Germans by four goals and slotting balls in from everywhere in the pool. As our week there drew on, the pool seemed to be getting colder. It was an outdoor pool and every morning was like getting into an Antarctica ice bath.
You could tell we had taken a month off because by the end of the week, the Germans were showing their superior fitness and ended up winning the one ‘official’ game towards the end of the week 16-10.
Our hosts were fantastic the whole week and courteously paid for us to go watch some popular German bands rock their instruments mid-way through the week. It was a great way to experience some of their culture and, as their guests, they even made a few of us crowd surf!
Back in Manchester, the t-shirts came out for heavy training. When they are mentioned by Sly (Fekete, Head Coach), everyone groans at the thought of the sleeves scooping chlorinated water into your mouth while you turn to breath. But we all know they will make us higher, faster and stronger – this is Sly’s favourite quote, one that some players have been heard to repeat in their sleep!
We also started the all-new British Water Polo program where we train hard as per usual – four mornings, four evenings and four gyms. But now we have two allocated ‘polo days’ where we have meetings about how we are going to reach our Olympic aspirations. We talk about how we see the next two years progressing and how we are going to achieve our goal of that sought-after Olympic medal. Sly has Friday to himself to show us various water polo videos of the world.
We’re no longer going to the Commonwealth Championships so we are now training hard for our debut in the Hungarian National League! A couple of the teams protested against us entering the league and by coincidence we’re due to play those teams first. We’re all looking forward to showing them what we’ve got and more!
We’ve also got some home and away European Championship games coming up from January 2011. Our group looks promising with Spain, Ukraine and Israel to play. We’re all looking forward to taking on all of Hungary and the rest of Europe and we’re ready to get back into competing and playing hard!