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‘Pippa was such an inspiration ... she will be greatly missed’

Glowing tributes have been paid to former water polo international Pippa Jones who ‘was a pioneer’ in helping to develop the sport for women.

The funeral of the highly-respected City of Sheffield Water Polo chairperson was held last week after she died on 29 April following a short illness. 

She was a former Great Britain international in the 1980s and 1990s who helped form the first women’s national team – and played in the World and three European Championships. 

Pippa also played a key role on Swim England’s Sport Operations Committee and had just stepped down earlier this year after completing her four-year term.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “Pippa was such an influential figure in water polo.

“She was a pioneer for the sport and played a major part in breaking down the barriers and help the sport to develop by establishing successful women’s clubs and our national sides.

“Her role in increasing the momentum for women to play water polo should never be forgotten and her legacy is that it’s a sport now being enjoyed by so many girls and women up and down the country.

“Our condolences go to her partner, Denry, her son, Joel and other members of her family and friends. She will be deeply missed by them all and everyone here at Swim England who had the privilege to work alongside her.”

Gave selflessly to the sport

Pippa, who was a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, also coached Sheffield Hallam Men’s Water Polo team and was heavily involved in the English Roses Masters Water Polo Club.

City of Sheffield posted a tribute to Pippa on its Facebook page which read: “We have lost the driving force of our club, the community has lost a legend and many of us have lost a dear dear friend.”

Another post by Conor Sheridan read: “Pippa was so full of life and passion.

“She loved water polo and gave selflessly to the sport – especially to Sheffield – most of her life.

“A lovely lady and a terrible loss. Love, prayers and thoughts are with Denry and Joel and Pippa’s many, many friends.”

Meanwhile, James Ross wrote: “Pippa was such an inspiration.

“So passionate about aquatics and so supportive to everyone who wanted to help the sport.

“She will be greatly missed.”

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