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Welcome to our May edition of England Water Polo News -

Pippa Jones. Image credits Sheffield Hallam University, Trevor Hyde and the British Water Polo League

We begin this month by reporting that it is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Pippa Jones.  Pippa will have been well known to most of the water polo community, whether as an inspirational player, coach or manager.

To name but a few of her achievements, Pippa was a past-President of the British Water Polo League, a former Great Britain international player who played in 3 European Championships and a World Championship in the 1980s and 1990s, and then became one of the sport’s most respected coaches and administrators.

You can read much more about Pippa’s life in polo in excellent interviews she gave recently to Swim England here > https://www.swimming.org/waterpolo/pippa-jones-coaching-story and here > https://www.swimming.org/masters/beneath-surface-masters-pippa-jones-brenda-grace

We can do no better than repeat the words of Sheffield Water Polo who posted, “We have lost the driving force of our club, the community has lost a legend & many of us have lost a dear dear friend.”

Our sincerest condolences go out to Denry and Joel, to Pippa’s family and friends, and to the City of Sheffield Water Polo Club where she was a member.

April has been another busy month as the final places in next season’s British Water Polo League places are allocated and the under 17s and 19s National Age Group (NAG) preliminary competitions have taken place.  This has also been a month when many club players have been away playing for Great Britain or England (or both).

First off congratulations to those teams who have secured the final promotion slots for the BWPL starting in September.  Northampton, Chester and Avondale will compete in the Men’s Division 5 next season.

Northampton

The final Women’s Division 3 slots go to Kirkintilloch & Kilsyth, Manchester Comets and Solihull.

Manchester Comets

In the preliminary round of the Under 19 NAG Championships Bridgefield,  Cheltenham, Caledonia and Penguin have got through to the final in May in the Men’s event.

Penguin

In the women’s event those teams getting through to the final in the Under 19 group are Otter, City of Sheffield, City of Manchester and Cheltenham.

In the boys Under 17 NAG preliminary round City of Manchester won all 5 matches to qualify for the finals along with Watford, Worthing and Cheltenham.

Worthing

In the under 17 girls’ NAG competition City of Manchester, City of Liverpool, Cheltenham and City of Sheffield all qualified for the final round.

City of Manchester u17s

In other news, Bridgefield Under 16 team are the new Northern League Champions after winning all 6 of their matches.  Very well done to them.  Rotherham came second and Sheffield came third.

Bridgefield U16 Northern League Champions

Congratulations also go to Penguin who are the under 12 London League Champions!

Penguin U12 Champions

Penguin have also been able to arrange for their junior athletes to be coached by Italian water polo legend, Carlo Silipo.  Carlo represented Italy at three Summer Olympics: 1992, 1996 and 2004, winning the gold medal in Barcelona, in 1992, he then won bronze with the men’s national team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, United States.

What a fantastic opportunity and clearly very inspiring!

Carlo Silipo and Penguin Juniors!

We are pleased to see that Dean Walker has been elected the new President of the Eastern Water Polo League.  Many congratulations to him.  His aim is to grow the number of teams competing in the league, both senior and junior, whilst starting a ladies league. We look forward to seeing these plans work out over the coming years.

El Presidente Dean

We are looking forward to the launch of the BWPL Champions Cup which will take place at the Alex Higgs Centre, Coventry on 14/15 May 2022.  Teams will be competing for two new trophies donated in memory of Fred Holehouse of Invicta (Mens) and Mike Glover OBE, a former ASA President, BWPL Life Member and the founder of the City of Manchester Water Polo Club (Womens).  This promises to be a great weekend of polo.

That’s it for this month. If you have any news you would like us to showcase please contact me at ah@waterpoloengland.org

 

 

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