Important step forward for Water Polo Leadership Group as key roles filled

Two new appointments have been made to the Swim England Water Polo Leadership Group.

Ben McDonald has been named as volunteering lead, while Fiona Gorman is to take on the communications role.

It follows the appointment in January of Mike Hesketh as competitions lead.

The recruitment drive has been spearheaded by the group’s chair, Toby King, who said: “These appointments are an important step for the Leadership group.

“We held our first meeting last week to discuss a wide range of topics and we are now working to finalise our new 5 year water polo strategy, in advance of publication in the next 2-3 weeks.”

The strategy will be heavily based on the feedback given by the water polo community at the regional meetings last year led by David Meli, who has produced a summary report of his findings which can be viewed here.

The new appointments to the leadership group are all volunteers who will be using their knowledge of the sport and their own experience and skills to help raise the profile of water polo across the country.

Competitions lead Mike is regularly seen table officiating at games and brings a wealth of experience to the role.

Value of Clubs

He has been a key member of the teams delivering both the Swim England National Age Group Championships and the British Water Polo League for a number of years.

In 2019, Mike was the recipient of the Mike Hesketh named Swim England Volunteer of the Year.

Toby added: “The feedback from the regional meetings included the need for a competitions review and the presence of an experienced volunteer like Mike will support this.”

Volunteering lead Ben is the Regional Water Polo Manager for the South East Region and has developed a track record of successful funding applications to help grow participation in the sport.

A committed volunteer himself, Ben has experience at all levels of the sport from club to regional representation.

Communications lead Fiona is a journalist by trade and her interest in the sport stems from her children who have played water polo to a high level both at home and abroad.

Toby added: “The need to improve communication, both from, and to, Swim England, was highlighted by the community throughout the regional meetings and we have sought to address that quickly with the appointment of Fiona, who has more than 30 years of editing experience on national newspapers and magazines.

“There is also an opportunity for players and volunteers to have their say about the Value of Clubs and I would encourage water polo clubs to please take the opportunity to complete this important piece of research.”