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Wednesday, 05 March 2014
Year 12 pupil Aaron Winstanley has been called up to train with the Senior GB Water Polo team. He is already part of the U19s' GB squad, but last weekend the Senior GB Water Polo coach contacted him to ask him to join the senior team in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.
This news will come as no surprise to those who know Aaron: Water Polo has been a huge part of his life since he joined Bolton School in Year 7. His older brother played Water Polo through the school, so when Aaron arrived he knew this was something he wanted to try. It turned out that he loved it, so carried on playing and soon joined the school team. One thing led to another and now, as well as continuing to play for the Boys’ Division, Aaron is also part of the Manchester and North West teams.
He joined the GB U19s' Water Polo squad in February this year – ‘playing up’ by a considerable margin! It is therefore an even more impressive achievement to be called up to the senior squad.
25 players have been selected to train for the Commonwealth Games, and Aaron is one of only two new candidates. The matches will be held in Aberdeen in just one month’s time, so the pressure is now on for Aaron – and the rest of the team – to train hard and earn a place in the final team of 13. However, he is fairly confident in his skills and his ability to make it to the Games. The odds are also in his favour, with only one other left-handed player in the training and the importance of having left-handed players on the team.
Aaron is already looking forward to the training, and will be joining the GB team in the water this weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity, and hopefully the first step in Aaron’s dream of playing Water Polo professionally at an international level.
Aaron will be training with Old Boy Ed Scott, who is the captain of the England team and plays in goal. He may also find himself up against Old Boy Ed Grundy, as he is set to play for the Scottish side in the Commonwealth Games.
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