Reflections from Water Polo Olympian
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Once again this year, Bolton School has won a clean sweep of national water polo titles at the three different age groups; U13, U15 and U18. The School achieved this remarkable achievement last year too. The last time the School enjoyed such success, Ed Scott, a former pupil and now Water Polo Olympian, was part of the team. Here, the 2014 Commonwealth Gold Medal winner and 2012 Olympian reflects on his time at Bolton School and beyond.
I left Bolton School in 2006 with a place to study medicine at Leeds University. During my time at school I played lots of water polo, winning the national championships with school at all three age groups. I was also selected to represent the Senior GB team during my A level years and competed in the 2006 Commonwealth championships whilst still at school.
I continued to play for GB whilst at university balancing my studies with commuting to Manchester for training. After three years of study and a further one year BSc in Anatomy, I was granted a year away from my studies where I could concentrate on training and preparing for the Olympics. I grew hugely as a player during this time, playing professionally for a Barcelona team in the Spanish premier league.
I went on to be selected to represent Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics which was the greatest experience of my life. They are frequently described as ‘the greatest show on earth’ and they lived up to expectations. Everything from the atmosphere of the Village and the support from the home crowds to the opening and closing ceremonies will live with me forever.
I played another year professionally in Spain before returning back to medical school, where I am now completing my fifth and final year.
After the Olympics, I was made captain of the GB and England teams. In 2014, I captained England to the gold medal in the Commonwealth championships in Scotland which was a fantastic milestone for the sport in our country.
At school, all the teachers involved in water polo were fantastic. Trevor Pledger, Mike Yates and Simon Jones were some of the key people who encouraged me to take up the sport and helped me improve as an athlete. Without those teachers, I wouldn’t have experienced the success that I have had. Playing water polo after school went on to shape the next 15 years of my life. Because of water polo I have travelled the world, I speak a second language and I am an Olympian – all of which wouldn’t have been possible without the opportunities and support I was given at school, for which I am immensely grateful."