Water polo players benefit from Backing the Best programme

SportsAid have announced they are supporting three water polo players as part of their ‘Backing the Best‘ programme.

Dylan Green, Connor Carpenter and Thomas Manley are among 95 athletes from a range of sports who will benefit from the second term of the programme.

City of Manchester goalkeeper Green was named ASA Performance Athlete of the Year for Water Polo in 2016 after some outstanding performances at national and international level.

Carpenter (City of Sheffield) and Manley (Newton Abbot) have also starred on the international stage, competing for the British team at the European Junior Water Polo Championships Qualification Tournament in Manchester earlier this year.

Backing the Best is managed by SportsAid on behalf of Sport England. It supports those athletes who would face difficulties on the talent development programme for their sport without financial help.

The bursary is not available to anyone. The water polo players have all demonstrated they have outstanding ability in their sport.

Tim Lawler, Chief Executive of SportsAid, said: “There will always be a next generation of young talented athletes looking for the opportunity to prove themselves and reach their potential.

“For some, difficult financial challenges mean they have to give genuine consideration as to whether they can continue to pursue their sport or not.

“Backing The Best has already made its mark by relieving some of that financial pressure. The programme has already helped a range of young athletes towards achieving their goals.

“It’s exciting to see the programme growing as we look to provide these athletes with the support their talent deserves. For us, Backing The Best is quite simply a game changer.”

Athletes benefit from stellar advice

The young athletes on the Backing the Best programme had a chance listen to insight and guidance from some big names in British sport.

They attended workshops at the National Water Sports Centre, based at Holme Pierrepont Country Park in Nottingham last month.

The athletes heard from double Olympic champion Becky Adlington and Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi.

They received advice on lifestyle management, nutrition and dealing with the media. There were specially adapted sessions for athlete parents, who also heard from Kat Adlington, Becky’s mum.

Click here to find out more about the Backing the Best programme. You can also read more about the workshops at the National Water Sports Centre here.