PledgeSports have the pleasure of working with some phenomenal athletes and teams. Each week we choose one of them as the PledgeSports “Athlete of the Week”, but this week we’ve opted for a “Team of the Week” award instead.
This week’s winner is the talented group of players from the Great Britain Mens U17 Water Polo team.
The boys in the water polo squad have been training hard for the vast majority of their lives with the ultimate goal of representing their country. This year they turn their attention to the European Water Polo Championships.
Qualifying for this year’s European Water Polo Championships would make them the first British team to do so for over 10 years – a testament to the tough competition on the international water polo scene and the determination of this squad.
In the lead up to the qualifiers the boys have been training once a month together in Manchester, with athletes coming from all over the country and, in one case, Spain!
The commitment of these players is superb. With balancing school work and the amount of training they complete each week they are a credit to themselves and the sport – they are truly worthy winners of this week’s award!
At the beginning of the Christmas break the boys attended a 6 day training camp in Manchester, participating in team building activities. They even got a special mention from the staff a the centre, who said “they were the best group of boys they had had in a long time, and they could tell they were a team because of how well they worked with each other”.
From the group, three of the players spent 3 days in Loughborough at the Youth Sport Trust National Talent Camp. They completed a series of workshops with International and Olympic athletes who offered their experience on what it takes to be a successful athlete and a strong leader and captain in sport today.
This could prove invaluable knowledge as the boys prepare to do water polo fans and their country proud this season.
Getting to the European Water Polo Championships
The venue for the European qualifiers is yet to be decided but with the draw for qualifiers taking place this weekend (Saturday, January 21st) the squad have their fingers crossed that they will be selected as the home nation. This would give them the competitive edge in booking their place at the championships later in the year.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the financial side of water polo, the squad are very self-dependent.
All camps are self-funded, competitions and kit all come from the pocket of the player and their families due to limited resources. The team are hoping with support to make it to the Europeans in September and all athletes can attend without a large financial burden.
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