Update from Ian Elliot, Chairman of the England Water Polo Management Group Sept 2016

 "I am very pleased to announce that the ASA has now agreed a budget to support the England Water Polo Management Group's Strategic and Operational Plan for England Water Polo, approved in March 2016.

"The England Water Polo budget is sufficient to allow the main proposals contained within the Plan to be delivered, and in particular to support the long awaited Senior programmes for men and women. Accordingly I can advise you that the Senior England Water Polo programmes will begin in October 2016, and will join the existing U17 and U19 England Water Polo age group Programmes under the England Water Polo Management Group performance pathway umbrella.

"The new England Water Polo Senior Programme means that our elite athletes will now be able to transition seamlessly along the performance pathway from junior to senior representative polo and marks a critical step in the rebalancing of water polo in England after London 2012. Athletes within all of our perforrnance pathway training squads will undertake regular training including sports science support and individual training plans. Underpinning the changes at the elite level is a new National and Regional academy programme, again starting this autumn, which will assist in the development of the younger athletes within the programme while close attention is also being paid to the development of pathways for education and development of match officials and coach.

"In addition to the start of the Senior Programme, I am delighted to announce that England will be competing in International Competitions at both Junior and Senior level during the 2016-2017 season, and additionally this season we aim to mark our return to Senior International polo by hosting competitive international events.

"Junior athletes from the England Water Polo programme, along with those from Scotland and Wales, will also compete as Great Britain in LEN events. Although there will be no Senior GB programme for the immediate future, we believe that the future of GB polo will be secured by demonstrating that England and the other home nations can realise their competitive potential through development of a structured and well organised performance pathway.

"Finally this month we are starting our review of the water polo calendar and the events within it. Currently both athletes and match officials are ill-served by the competing demands made upon them and rationalisation of this often-overlooked aspect of England Water Polo is long overdue.

"I hope that you will be as excited by these developments as the England Water Polo Management Group is, and we look forward to working with you to deliver a future for our sport in this country."
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16:00:00 06.09.2016
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