How 1610 and the FANS scheme helped rising Waterpolo star Poppy prepare for Australian challenge

 Australians are well known for their success in water sports but a rising star in the world of water polo from Dorset defended England against the might of the Aussie water polo squad.

16-year-old Poppy Elliman from Dorchester played in goal for the England U18 water polo team against Australia in London over 15-16 December 2018.


Poppy is a member of Dorchester Sports Centre under the FANS scheme (Free Access to Sports Facilities for National Sports People), where she trained hard at the gym and in the pool in preparation for the match. She was first introduced to water polo in 2012 at the centre which boasts a very successful social water polo club. Poppy quickly progressed and soon excelled at the sport,moving to Exeter Water Polo club to enable her to play at a competitive level in 2014. She was selected to attend the National Waterpolo Academy in 2016 and moved to her current club, Bristol in 2017. With Bristol she plays local ladies and junior leagues as well as in the British Water Polo Ladies League Division Two. The outing against Australia was Poppy’s second England cap as she was a member of the bronze medal England U17 team at the EU Nations Cup in Czech Republic earlier in 2018.

Playing at this elite level is a very large commitment; Poppy travels to Bristol two or three times a week to attend club training as well as monthly weekend trips to Manchester for GB squad training camps. Being part of the FANS scheme has enabled Poppy to meet the increased gym, land and swim training expected of a GB athlete closer to home, negating the need for yet more travel.

Poppy’s mum Maggi says that the FANS scheme membership and support from 1610 has helped Poppy enormously; ‘Being able to train locally for free at the Dorchester Sports Centre gym has made a tremendous difference as Poppy can follow a designated training programme provided by her coach, supported by the gym staff at 1610.’

Water polo is not a lottery funded sport and players are self-funded up to and including GB level. Players are extremely grateful for any support and especially to 1610 not only for their support but also helping introduce Poppy to her sport.


For more information on the FANS scheme please contact Eleanor Smith at 1610 email Tel 03 300 581610

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02:04:00 13.02.2019
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