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Thursday, 13 September 2012
Olympian Ed Scott, who left Bolton School in 2006, has been back to school and wasted no time in returning to swimming pool where he first learnt to play water polo and where he honed his skills which allowed him to play in goal for Team GB at London 2012.
Ed, just back from having taken part in the spectacular victory parade through the capital, spent an hour in the water passing on tips and coaching advice to Bolton School’s elite water polo players.
Pupil James Barker, aged 14, who took part in the masterclass said: “He is a good role model and to have someone from our school competing in the Olympics shows that it is possible to go far, because he was the same as us.”
The 24 year old water polo player shared his Olympic experience with teachers and pupils and he donated his GB Olympic shirt to the School as a thank you for their help in supporting him during his formative years. Looking back on the summer, he said: “I had an incredible time. There are not enough superlatives to describe such an unbelievable and breathtaking experience which went above and beyond what I was expecting. My plan had been to treat the Olympics as just another tournament but when you have 5,000 people cheering you on, it gives you an amazing boost. I thought the attitude of the whole country was just great.
A particular highlight for me was after Monday's parade when I spoke with Sir Steve Redgrave for 20 minutes or so. I remember watching Steve winning gold in the Sydney Olympics when I was about 11 years old so to finally get to meet him was a dream come true.
I do have to thank Bolton School for being where I am today. Before I came to the School I didn’t know what water polo was. When I first started I was not a particularly strong swimmer so they put me in goal and that seems to have worked out! I ended up training 4 or 5 mornings a week in the School pool before classes started as well as with my club in Manchester. Once I started developing and getting international call-ups, I was given great support, particularly by the Headmaster at the time, Mr Mervyn Brooker. The teachers would move exams if needs be and make sure that I caught up with any work that I missed.
I just hope people remember the Olympics and I hope that people, having seen water polo played, now start to get more involved in it.
After the morning session, Ed rushed off to catch a flight to Barcelona to take up his position in goal for Mediterrani, a team that competes in the Spanish league. He has taken two years out of studying medicine at Leeds University to concentrate on his sport and hopes to compete in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The School has a history of producing water polo internationals and still plays a key role in developing stars for the future. Over 20 boys that trained with Ed were due to take part in an elite training session in Cardiff at the weekend for young British water polo players. Mr Andrew McGinty, who is the new Head Water Polo Coach at the School is also the England U15 Assistant Coach and Dr Mike Yates, who teaches at the School, is U19 England Team Manager.
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