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Craig Figes provides update on 'positive and exciting times' for water polo

Craig Figes, London 2012 Olympic Games Team GB water polo captain, provides an update on work achieved since starting as Swim England water polo programme lead.

These are positive and exciting times for water polo.

As you know, I recently joined Swim England as the water polo programme lead, working alongside Andy McGinty and Rose Younger, who are the interim cover for Norman Leighton during his recovery.

All three of us are excited and completely committed to helping our sport grow and you will see us at various events and sessions over the coming months. 

In the meantime, I wanted to give you and update on our first two months.

It is really positive to learn that the senior men and senior women’s teams have been entered into the 2023 European Championships.

The support we’ve had from the national governing bodies reflects growing confidence in the future of our sport.

The funding that British Swimming received from UK Sport means we must focus on improving performances in Europe, so creating a British performance structure is a key focus for the team.  

As part of this work, we will be reviewing the talent pathway in England.

Maximise success

Once the revised performance pathway is in place, we are confident that we will be able to produce players who can compete regularly in Europe both at junior and senior levels.  

One of the elements we want to improve is providing international competition to support our athletes to be tournament ready.  

All squads will have a detailed progression plan which will set out how the coach will maximise success at formal championships and deliver the objective to improve results in Europe

You may have also seen that there have recently been two advertisements placed for the head coach of the senior men’s squad and the head coach of the 05-06 (U19-17) girls. These vacancies have now closed so there will be announcements on those appointments soon.

We are keen to develop coaching talent and hope to be introducing a development programme for aspiring coaches in the future.

Finally, we are committed to improve the way that we inform you about our work and we aspire to be more informative and responsive.

Watch this space … I’ll provide more updates in the near future.