World-Class Water Polo Players
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
The Boys’ Division Water Polo squads are truly world-class: a number of boys from all age groups were invited to the Great Britain Water Polo trials - with many success stories from the day!
Year 8 students Jack Phillips, Kurtis Watson and Jos Winstanley all made it past the first round of trials for their age-group; Harrison Barker Smith and Andy Mattison from Year 9 were accepted onto the GB U15 squad; year 10 boys David Price, Bill Moores and Ben Ray made it onto the GB U16 team; and Aaron Winstanley, who is in the Lower Sixth, has been called up to the GB U19 team’s camp in the February half-term.
These boys join a number of their peers who are already on the GB programme. This means that the school now has pupils representing the country in the U14, U15, U16, U17 and U19 teams.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the school’s Water Polo teams are doing well in the English Schools' Swimming Association Water Polo Championship.
On the 8th of February, the U18s team sailed through their second round, beating Ripley St Thomas 7-3, Warwick 13-4, and King Edwards School Birmingham 8-2 to qualify as top seed in their age group from the North/Midlands.
Now the boys are looking to win the first U18s national title for a number of years, so it’s all to play for in the finals on the 8th of March. They will be up against six other teams who have qualified to this point, but with so many excellent players on the team they have a real chance of winning this year’s Championship.
The U14s team has also made it through their first round of the Championship. The team is made up of five Year 9s and eight Year 8s, making this U14s team the youngest the school has had in some time. It is a testament to the Year 8 pupils’ skills that this did not show in the competition, despite competing against teams which had a majority of Year 9 players.
The team bested St Bede’s School 4-2, Bradford Grammar School 7-0, and Royal Grammar School Newcastle 8-1. Captain Harrison Barker Smith and top scorer Andy Mattison led the side in exemplary fashion, with rival teachers commenting upon their professionalism.