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Great Britain’s Senior Men told they will not be entering the 2020 World League, Head Coach resigns -

Following the decision made by our National Governing Bodies, Swim England and British Swimming, that Great Britain’s senior men’s team would not be allowed to enter the 2020 FINA World League (21.09.19), we have learnt today (27.09.19) that Great Britain’s senior men’s Head Coach, Tim Dunsbee has resigned.

The decision the team would not be entering the event was conveyed to the team’s Head Coach, Tim Dunsbee, in the last few days by George Wood, Swim England’s Sport Development Director.

The team would have entered the FINA World League on a self-funded basis with all the players committed to raising the necessary funds themselves, and the event was identified as a key stepping stone back into international competition for the GB team by Tim Dunsbee and his coaches. In July, Tim Dunsbee spoke to Paul Metcalfe on the All Wrapped Up water polo podcast about his hopes for the Great Britain men and women entering the FINA World League. You can listen to Tim and his plans for the GB men’s entry into the World League on the podcast here >

Great Britain’s entry to the FINA World League was also fully supported by Ian Elliot, Chair of the Water Polo Management Group.

Great Britain’s senior men’s captain Aaron Winstanley commented, “The squad and coaches are massively disappointed with the decision and we are all unsure about where we go from here.

“At the World University Games in July we were told by the Management Group that entry to the World League was a strong possibility, and this gave all the players renewed focus and hope. Since Naples, we’ve all been training really hard individually and hoping to hear when the next GB training camp was going to take place”

“The FINA World League was a massive opportunity for us and we were all working towards competing against the best teams in Europe. We were also prepared to self-fund our campaign, but the players have had no direct communication from Swim England or British Swimming.”

“With no plan in place or future tournaments to aim for, we are all unclear what the future holds for the senior team.”

This news follows the recent resignation of Great Britain’s senior women’s Head Coach Theo Nousios due to the failure of the National Governing Body to support the women’s entry into European competition.

On 23.09.19 Swim England responded publicly as follows:

“Swim England recently received a request for the men’s senior British team to enter the FINA World League in 2020.

George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director said: “With the short time frame provided, this application could not be considered effectively before the closing deadline by either Swim England in terms of finance and logistics or British Swimming who would ultimately sign off an entry in terms of performance.

“Along with British Swimming and the other Home Nations, I share the keen desire for senior teams to compete effectively for Great Britain in top level international events in the future. I also recognise the significant investment that athletes and their families put into funding their careers.”

“However it is vital that when teams compete in LEN or FINA events, British Swimming is able to field a competitive team, have clarity about what the goals are for the event and, above all, performance reflects the high performance nature of British Swimming.”

The Home Countries Water Polo Working Group will now consider the way forward for senior British teams at its next meeting – and plans to gain the views of head coaches to identify the next key steps.”

According to information supplied by Swim England to a member of the GB polo community, Neal Greenslade, the Home Countries Water Polo Working Group (HCWPWG) was set up 18 months ago by British Swimming, with the aim of bringing the governing bodies and volunteers together in order to progress the sport in Great Britain.

Neal was advised that the Group is made up of one professional sport development person and one volunteer lead from each of the home nations of England, Scotland and Wales. It also includes Jack Buckner, CEO of British Swimming, and Fergus Feeney, who is a board member and the appointed liaison for water polo in Great Britain. The group is next scheduled to meet in November and is expected to meet on a quarterly basis from then on. The priority at the moment is an alignment on vision, strategy, pathway, competitions and squads for water polo in Britain.”

Tim Dunsbee the Head Coach of the England Senior Men’s Water Polo Squad posted in response, “It’s a committee I hadn’t heard of until 3 days ago. I can honestly say I never once had a discussion or even an email from this Group the whole time I have been England Men’s Head Coach. So to me just another red herring to delay stall and frustrate. 18 months and not one question or attempt to engage the Senior Head Coach.”

We have now contacted Swim England and British Swimming to obtain further information about the operation of the hitherto unknown Home Countries Water Polo Working Group, and will publish updates once received.

10 responses to “Great Britain’s Senior Men told they will not be entering the 2020 World League, Head Coach resigns”

  1. Cliff Brooks says:

    Disgraceful, the commitment by the players, coach and the whole team of supporters is a kick in the face for the sport. Hang your heads in shame! How can you justify spending so much money on swimming for little return! Give Water Polo a chance!

  2. P. Adkin says:

    So the funds set aside for the Seniors are where?

  3. C Brazier says:

    Simply terrible. It’s plain to see that British Swimming and Swim England clearly want to wipe out water polo when it’s such a great alternative for those swimmers who choose not to, or are unable to reach the dizzy heights of International Swimming Times. Especially when the team were prepared to finance themselves.

  4. Ruth Cooper says:

    This is a water sport for team players and is fundamentally important in my area of Birmingham for keeping boys safe and off the streets. Swim England should reconsider their position and look to funding being available

  5. Dante Dettamanti says:

    Many countries in the world now have separate governing bodies for swimming, water polo, diving and synchro. All sports should have their own separate governing bodies and receive separate funding from the government. Can England do this?

  6. Christine Whittaker says:

    Time to do something about this now, if there really is an appetite to breakaway from swim england.
    We have to stop complaining and do something.

  7. Andrew Stillwell says:

    Come and play underwater hockey instead

  8. Stuart Gray says:

    Is the swim England chairman’s name Johnson?
    Swim England is obviously trying to destroy water-polo.

  9. metal hammer says:

    British water polo must brake free from the yoke of swim england once and for all !

  10. David Foot says:

    Swim England and Sport England don’t even care about diving!
    Waterpolo and all aquatic sports should be supported and crucially waterpolo pools and deep water pools are venues which need to be replaced.
    It is incredible how specialist pools are vanishing and Swim England and Sport England seem to be perfectly happy with that, I have a such an attitude documented in a letter from Swim England! So long as a 25 m 1.8 m deep goes in that is ok or worse still it seems to be even better!

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