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England’s monthly lockdown-water-polo news is out! -

Welcome to the June edition of our Water Polo News.  These continue to be challenging times with the country still gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, and largely locked down at home throughout May.  Swimming pools have been shut for over 10-weeks and the national and international water polo fixture list has been cancelled until further notice.  However, the water polo community is made of strong stuff and it hasn’t let the pandemic stop training or dampened the great spirit we have come to expect of our athletes and coaches.  This month we want to look at how our players have kept fit and motivated whilst in isolation.

West London Penguin has invited well-known athletes and sports people to speak to club members via social media.  This month it was the turn of Italian water polo legend, Carlo Silpo, Olympic Gold medallist, World Champion and European champion.  His top tip to reach the top is “Play with happiness.  If you love it you can achieve your dreams.”

This was followed by a session with American superstar, Benda Villa.  Brenda has competed in four Olympic games including winning a gold medal at London 2012.  She was the FINA Aquatics World Magazine female water polo player of the decade for 2000-2009 and is now an inspirational coach and ambassador for young people in water polo.

Brenda Villa

Watford has also invited some excellent speakers to present to them this month.  They started with Elvis Fatović, Head Coach of the Australian Men’s team since 2013 and followed it up with Igor Pezelj, a member of the Croatian Men’s National team who talked about preparing for national competitions and the role of video analysis as part of that preparation.  The month ended with a session by Igor Milanović, a Serbian water polo player who is now coaching, and who is considered to have been the best player of the modern era.

Elliot McHugh, Great Britain’s under 19s goalkeeper and a member of Penguin Water Polo club, has been sharing drills that can be done out of the pool via Swim England’s website.  Well worth a look >

Elliot McHugh in action

With the news that the swimming pools are not going to re-open for a while longer, two of the Worthing girls have taken advantage of the good weather and have started water polo training in the English Channel.  Liv Henderson and Lottie Apps are pictured below practising their skills in idyllic surroundings – is this really the English Channel??

Liv Henderson & Lottie Apps

Martin Waller, Enfield WPC, has impressed us all by making the most of the hot weather and a paddling pool in his garden to practise his water polo skills!

Martin Waller of Enfield Water Polo keeping the ball skills (and hydration) on point!

Most other clubs are keeping connected by training together in joint sessions using social media such as Zoom.  Below we show some of the clubs who have shared their workouts with us.

Enfield WPC

Watford WPC




Worthing WPC



Northampton WPC

City of Liverpool are not allowing any excuses in their strength and conditioning sessions – if you don’t have actual weights there are lots of things in the house that can be used instead!

City of Liverpool WPC

The British Water Polo League has honoured Pippa Jones and Gordon Dacre with Life Memberships for their service to the League. Pippa stood down as President Jones on 10th May after 7-years in the office.  In addition to her work as President she continued to play in the League for English Roses.

Pippa Jones (photo Trevor Hyde)

Gordon Dacre was President of BWPL for three years prior to Pippa’s appointment.  Gordon has a long connection with the sport originally as a player in the former men’s national league and then as an inspirational leader of the City of Liverpool Club and coach to many youth teams in the northwest.

Gordon Dacre with City of Liverpool

The BWPL’s Dave Warriner Memorial Trophy, which recognises outstanding service to the League and to water polo in general, has been awarded to Duncan Holmes, of Lancaster.  Duncan will be well known to many as a BWPL table official.  He was the 30-second timekeeper at the 2012 Olympics.  He was also a player and team manager for Lancaster Water Polo club.  Very well deserved Duncan!

Duncan Holmes (photo by Trevor Hyde)

The winners of BWPL’s annual Columbus Direct “most valuable player” awards have also been announced. The aim of the awards is to acknowledge a consistent high level of commitment, loyalty and dedication of players to the club scene and the sport as a whole.  The female winner is Sheffield’s ex-international, Linzi Gaywood, who is still playing in the Super 5s after an astonishing 36 years of level polo.

Linzi Graywood (photo by Trevor Hyde)

The male winner is Ben Alcorn, Invicta’s goalkeeper, who doubles up as one of the coaching team at his home club Worthing.  Very well done to both!

Ben Alcorn (photo by Trevor Hyde)


Thinking about our sport’s future return to the water, we were pleased to see some snippets of guidance from Swim England about how pool swimming might look when swimmers are allowed back in the water appear in the Sunday Times on Sunday 21st May just before we posted our news.

The link for the original Sunday Times paywall article is >

Much of the original content is also available for open access here >

Well that’s all for this month. Please continue to share the amazing things you are doing to keep going during these strange time.  If you have a story to share please let me know by emailing me at .

2 responses to “England’s monthly lockdown-water-polo news is out!”

  1. Giles Govier says:

    Thanks guys , here at Faversham SC and water polo we are having our first training session in the sea at Herne bay tonight

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