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Woman up - the monthly blog of the GB Women’s Water Polo Team - Winter update

Keep up with Great Britain’s Women’s Water Polo team, powered by British Gas, through their regular blog.

In this update covering January and February, the team continue their progress in the Hungarian National League as well as opening their European Championship qualifying campaign.

January and February have been quite busy as usual with European Championship qualifying games, Hungarian National League, work and exams.

The first European game was against Israel at Loughborough where we won 26-1. There is always extra pressure when playing at home - especially when your grandma has a history of chasing after the referee down the poolside after bad decisions!

But the whole team put in a really strong performance for all of those watching and supporting our squad.

With only 17 months left until the Olympics, things are heating up in and out the pool.

Most of us are organised but for some a tidy room is harder than sprinting 1500 metres in the pool.

A couple of our ladies (Lisa Gibson and Robyn Nicholls) featured in the Daily Mail posing naked in the pool!

Meanwhile, everyone has been undergoing media training and inspiring talks from several Olympians to help us be more prepared for London 2012. Most of them are extra organised and swear by tidy rooms and for some of the ladies, a tidy room is harder than sprinting 1500 meters in the pool!

Most of the speakers express how daunting the Games are and we needed to be extremely focused as not to get distracted. But this does not phase us - when there is a 20 stone centre forward ploughing towards you, you find focus!

The squad has also been setting themselves individual targets which are reviewed every six weeks.

Some targets include improving skills, swim times, amount of hours sleeping, deadlines for university work or more simple targets such as one social outing per week, something to get us out the pool or our beds.

Some have set targets to eat more fruit and vegetables; tantalising their taste buds!

Usually our matches in Europe are in the late evening - they like to have epic lay ins and siestas!

Also, what has been looming is the British Olympic Associations (BOA) decision to whether British Water polo will go to the London Olympics. There have been several rumours to when the final decisions will be made.

Things are a little tense around the camp fire but it gives our squad more energy to train with to show we are good enough. Our team staff gave a presentation on 8th March 2011 in London and they came out confident that British Water Polo will be marching around London in August 2012. (The BOA have since confirmed Great Britain will have automatic selection as hosts for both the men's and women's competitions at London 2012 - click here for a full news article)

Whilst all the above has been going on, the squad has been working hard to prepare as much as possible for our next European game in Ukraine on Saturday 26th March.

The game has been arranged for 12pm swim off which is a little unusual as most European countries set the game time for late evening (they like to have epic lay ins and siestas!).

The team will be travelling straight from Hungary after a preparation camp to face the Ukraine team and it has been several years since the GB team has played them so we're all looking forward to it.

If you would like to see what happens whilst we are abroad playing in the Hungarian National League, have a look at some of our video diaries from the past 6 months - you can find them here.

Thanks for reading and look out for next month’s blog update.

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