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President hails importance of water polo festivals to ensure future success of sport

Swim England president Ian Mackenzie has hailed the importance of water polo festivals for young players to help ensure the future success of the sport.

Ian, and his wife Sheila, were invited by the Swim England North West Region to attend its U11 Water Polo Festival at Volair’s Halewood Leisure Centre.

Six clubs took part in the event with Radcliffe and Ramsbottom running out winners.

Both Ian and Sheila recorded the results throughout the competition before presenting all the participants with a commemorative certificate.

Ian said: “Competition is a necessary part of the pathway for the U11 and U13 age groups.

“The North West Regional festival at the weekend made a group of individual water polo players into a team.

“Growing the skills, the team spirit and the base will ensure the success of water polo in England. The North West have led the way for the other regions to follow.”

Wonderful environment

The North West Region’s Water Polo Academy aims to run both U11 and U13 festivals every quarter to support clubs in their ongoing recovery from the pandemic, providing much-needed competition following a prolonged absence due to the restrictions.

Joanne Mountfield, North West Water Polo Academy Lead, said: “The club coaches and chaperones provided a wonderful environment for their players to have fun and enjoy showcasing their skills in front of an enthusiastic crowd. 

“Festivals are essential in promoting the sport and engaging young players and we would like to thank Ian and Sheila for their enthusiasm in taking part.” 

City of Liverpool member, Scarlet Clausen, presented Sheila with a bouquet of tulips to thank her for officiating on the table throughout the day.

Pictures: Ant Clausen