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Swim England confirms support for water polo national programmes

It is set to be a ‘busy and successful’ 2019 for water polo after Swim England confirmed it would support the national programmes next year.

The investment comes as Sport England talent funding for water polo will end from 31 March next year.

But Swim England has agreed to back the U17, U19 and senior squads, plus the National Academy, to ensure the talent programme can continue as before.

And although the senior men’s and women’s team will not be entered into the LEN European Championships due to the ‘prohibitively high’ financial contribution for athletes, all sides will be in action in Europe during 2019.

Ian Elliott, chairperson of the Swim England Water Polo Management Group, said: “I can confirm that the Swim England budget for water polo for 2019 is being maintained at a level which will support the national programmes for the U17, U19 and Senior Squads along with the National Academy.

“Sport England talent funding for Water Polo ceases from 31 March 2019. However, the Swim England Board has approved investment into the talent programme at a level commensurate with previous funding to ensure that the talent programme can continue as before.

Committed funding to support training

“Our partnership with Manchester City Council continues, and Swim England has again committed annual funding in 2019 to support training at their excellent facilities. This is over and above the investment from Swim England into the talent programme.

“Manchester has a sport policy of investment in sports with ambition over time, and wants to work with all aspects of our national sport strategy; from grassroots development right up to support of the national programmes, including hosting future international events (allowing our athletes to compete on home ground).

“While there has been considerable debate around the senior programme and possible entry to the Senior LEN European Championships, following a full financial costing based upon the entry conditions and consultation with both the men’s and women’s squads, it was concluded that the forecast financial contribution expected of athletes would be prohibitively high, and therefore we have not entered these events for this European cycle.

“However, we can confirm that entries have been submitted to LEN for the Junior U17 European Championships in 2019 for both male and female squads, and an application to host the qualification event for the men in Manchester during May has been made.

“Entries have also be agreed for the Senior Women’s invitational event in Portugal later this month, and the FISU World University Games 2019 entry for both Men and Women teams has the backing of British Swimming with the FISU decision on entry to be published in February next year. 

“With EU Nations events to come as well, we look forward to a busy and successful 2019.”