Response to Tunnicliffe Review of Swim England Water Polo

Following the withdrawal of funding by UK Sport into Women’s Water Polo, Swim England decided to commission a full review of Water Polo within England.

The aim of the Tunnicliffe Review was to look at all aspects of the game, from grass roots development, through the talent pathway to elite performance. The review covered the governance structure, development and talent programmes and the competition pathway.

The Tunnicliffe Review was presented to the Sport Governing Board and members of the water polo community on Sunday 25 January 2015 and was well received by attendees. It was agreed to form the Swim England Water Polo Management Group with immediate effect following the appointment of the Manager of the Group later that day.

It was also agreed to give consideration to appointing an independent Chairman to the Group. It was further agreed the Water Polo Management Group should use the recommendations set out in the review document as a framework for a revised strategic and operational plan consisting of detailed plans for the next two to three years with an outline plan for 10 years. As part of the formulation of the plan the resource requirements will be identified and priorities agreed. The plan and agreed resources will be presented to the Water Polo community in October 2015.

Whilst it is important and necessary to build the sport up from the bottom there is also a need to maintain a relevant and appropriate international programme, both for the future of the sport globally and to ensure there is a complete pathway for athletes. British Swimming, although unable to provide financial support, are willing to be part of the strategic leadership of the discipline and will provide expertise and guidance, linking the work of the three Home Nations especially around the international programme.

“Building the international side of the Game is vitally important and British Swimming will work with the three Home Countries to establish a high performance culture with strong leadership and support,” said British Swimming Chair Maurice Watkins.

Chris Bostock, Chair of the Sport Governing Board, added: “We have shown commitment to the discipline of water polo by the commissioning of this review and will now ensure appropriate resources are available to formulate a realistic and achievable plan which leads to a sustainable programme from grassroots to performance.”

Swim England has also committed to ensuring any changes in the current structure are aligned to the recommendations outlined in the review to start to move the discipline towards the revised plan.

Following the meeting Ian Elliot was appointed as Manager of the Swim England Water Polo Management Group and will now start to form his team to take this forward.

Tunnicliffe Review Downloads