Colin Gasper steps down as head coach of U17 and U19 Women's squads

Colin Gasper has withdrawn from his role as head coach for the GB U17 and U19 Girls water polo squads due to a change in his personal circumstances.

Colin took on the role in December but has made the difficult decision to step down to focus more on supporting his family.

He has been praised for his commitment to the role over the past months by Swim England’s Water Polo Programme Lead, Craig Figes, who recognised Colin as an ‘incredibly talented coach’.

The Home Nations Water Polo leadership group have confirmed that Izzy Howe will take over the U19 girls team and Matt Wright will move from assistant coach to lead the U17 girls.

Both Izzy and Matt have a wealth of coaching experience and were instrumental in leading the City of Manchester’s girl’s teams to a treble of National Age Group titles in 2022.

Matt will be supported by Craig to see the U17 team through until the European qualification tournament this summer, whilst Izzy will work alongside assistant coach Katy Cutler as the U19 girls continue their preparation for the 2024 European Championships.

On Colin’s departure, Craig said: “We are sad to be losing Colin from this role but understand the constraints on his time.

“We are grateful and thank Colin for his considerable efforts to find ways to juggle work, a young family and coaching in recent months.

“He’s an incredibly talented coach and we hope that he will be able to continue to support the sport in a role that has less demands on his vital family time. I’m sure we’ll see him back at poolside in the near future.

“With Izzy and Matt, supported by both Katy and myself, we believe we’ve got a great team in place to support both squads as they continue to prepare for European competition.”

A privilege to hold the position

Colin explained how he came to his difficult decision, he said: “The decision to step down has been both difficult and necessary.

“While I am passionate about the development and growth of water polo, it has been increasingly challenging to continually balance a full-time job, coaching, and raising a young family.

“The water polo community within Swim England and the BWPL is remarkable and I would like to thank everyone who I’ve had the privilege to both work and coach with.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of our water polo coaches and the significant influence they have on keeping the sport competitive, inclusive, and enjoyable for their athletes.

“I’m eager to continue to support Swim England and the broader water polo community and will be considering other ways that I can help contribute in the future.

“Until then, I would like to thank Craig, Rose (Younger), and Andy (McGinty) for providing me with this opportunity in addition to the U17 and U19 teams for being such a talented, coachable, and selfless group of individuals.”

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10:46:00 25.04.2023
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