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Monday, 03 November 2014
Last year, Bolton School won the ESSA U18 Water Polo Championships with a team of Year 12 pupils. The same team, now in Year 13, are determined to defend their title in the new season.
The current Senior team is particularly strong, with four of the boys invited to join national sporting programmes for their performance in water polo. Lewis Daly has a place on the Sport England Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme; while James Barker, Josh Smith-Trow and Aaron Winstanley have places on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme.
The preliminary round of the U18 Championship was hosted at the Bolton School swimming pool, with four teams in the water over the course of the afternoon. The Bolton School boys faced Manchester Grammar School, King Edward’s School Birmingham, and Warwick School in the round robin tournament; the fifth team, from Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, was unfortunately unable to attend.
Playing against local rivals Manchester Grammar School in their first match, the Bolton School side had a challenge on their hands, but eventually pulled through to win 8-6. They went on to defeat King Edward’s School Birmingham 6-1, and Warwick School 15-0. As victors in all of their matches, this put Bolton School in first place.
King Edward’s School Birmingham also qualified for the next round in second place. Manchester Grammar School came in third, putting them in the final qualifying spot.
There is a second qualifying round yet to come before the finals in March 2015. However, the Bolton School boys and their coaches are confident in their ability to pull of another spectacular season, and are looking forward to these challenges to come.
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