First of regional water polo meetings to help develop sport set to take place

The first in a series of regional meetings that aims to give the water polo community the chance to give their thoughts on the development of the sport is set to take place.

Consultant David Meli and representatives from Swim England will be attending eight meetings across the country.

The first takes place at Swim England’s headquarters in SportPark, Loughborough, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Tuesday 3 December.

The meetings provide an opportunity for members of the water polo community to come together and provide some thoughts and insight across a range of areas including club development, coaching and officiating support, competition structures, the talent pathway and leadership/governance.

Leading the meetings will be David, who has been brought in by Swim England to help develop and implement a plan for the sport and to support the process of reinvigorating the leadership and governance for water polo alongside Ian Mackenzie, the Interim Chairperson of the Water Polo Leadership Group.

This will involve consultation and engagement with key stakeholders from within water polo to ensure that there is the opportunity for as much input as possible to the future plan.

David’s project is due to take 12 months, during which time he will be providing around a day a week of support to the sport reporting in to George Wood, Sport Development Director for Swim England.

Enthusiasm to see sport develop

He has not been asked to carry out a review along similar lines to that carried out by Neil Tunnicliffe in 2015 but will be looking at how any of the recommendations contained in that report can be further developed for future inclusion.

David said: “I have already had the chance to meet with a number of people from within water polo since taking on this project and it is clear that there is plenty of enthusiasm to see the sport develop.

“I was keen to set up this series of regional meetings in order to hear from clubs and other organisations who are involved in the front line delivery of the sport.

“It is important that we gather as much detail and information as possible in order to produce a manageable and sustainable plan for water polo.

“I look forward to travelling around the country with members of the Swim England team to continue with this process.”

Anyone who would like to submit questions ahead of the meeting they are attending should send their request to so that they can be collated and responses prepared.

Water polo regional meetings

  • Tuesday 3 December – 6.30pm-8.30pm: Adlington Meeting Room, Floor 1, SportPark, Oakwood Drive, Loughborough, LE11 3QF
  • Wednesday 4 December – 7.30pm-9.30 pm: Holiday Inn Express, Leigh Sports Village, Sale Way, Leigh WN7 4JY
  • Thursday 5 December – 6.30pm-8.30pm: House of Sport, 190 Great Dover St, London SE1 4YB
  • Tuesday 10 December – 7.30pm – 9.30pm: Swim England South West, Castle Business Centre, Castle Road, Chelston Business Park, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 9JQ Somerset, TA21 9JQ
  • Wednesday 11 December – 7.30pm – 9.30pm: Holiday Inn (Guilford), Egerton Rd, Guildford GU2 7XZ
  • Thursday 12 December – 6.30pm-8.30pm: Grange Park Sports club, Wetherby Grange Park, Old Boston Road, Wetherby,  LS22 5NB
  • Saturday 14 December – 2pm-4pm: Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, Victoria Rd, Chelmsford CM1 1FG
  • Tuesday 17 December – 6.30pm-8.30pm: Handsworth Grammar School Old Boys Club House, Bridge Trust Society, 47a Romilly Avenue, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, B20 2AT