The English Schools’ Swimming Association (ESSA) has been providing an opportunity for all schools in England to engage in competitive water polo since 1976. Water polo has become increasingly popular within schools for boys, and now girls since 2003, and there are now a significant number of competitions that reflect this.
Both boys’ and girls’ groups compete at U18, U15 and U13 age groups culminating in a 6 team national final for all three age groups and for both genders following several rounds of competition.
Cadet competitions aim to attract new players into competitive water polo for those who haven’t already competed in the main competition. There are now two age groups for the Cadet competition at U11 (Year 6 and below) and U13 (Year 8 and below).
The Duke of Cambridge Cup is a one-day tournament for the best 39 boys and best 39 girls, nominated by schools and England Water Polo, from a specific age group (identified at the start of the academic year by the ESSA Council). To be considered for this competition a pupil must attend a school in England. Following the Duke of Cambridge Cup tournament, schools’ international honours can be achieved following selection by the ESSA Head Coach, which is usually for the best 16 players for both gender teams. Since 2015 International teams have represented the ESSA at tournaments in Malta and this year we welcome a visit from the Australian Schools Water Polo teams for a three Test series which will take place in December.
Click on the relevant links below for more info re ESSA representative events:
University water polo competitions in the UK are provided by 2 organisations...
We have just received a statement from Ian Elliot, Chair of the Water Polo Management Group about Swim England funding for water polo in England next year, which has been issued in response to recent community concern about the lack of financial support for our sport, and suggestions that the Senior men’s and women’s England/GBR squads were to be terminated. Ian tells us, “I can confirm that the Swim England budget for water polo for 2019 is being maintained at a level which will support the national programmes for the U17,