Fixtures for Women's Championship 2, which begins with teams competing over two weekends in two groups of five, are published today. Liverpool Water Beatles have been withdrawn under League Rule 101.9, which precludes two teams from one club competing in the same division in the same year.
Ian Elliot and his team presented the England Water Polo Management Group proposed strategy to the water polo community in Birmingham on 15 November. The meeting was attended by 50 or more officials, coaches and administrators.
The presentation, which repeated that given to the ASA the previous evening, involved Ian speaking to a series of slides (see below), which summarised the detailed proposals, followed by questions from the floor.
The meeting finished with a unanimous show of hands supporting and endorsing the proposals and an agreement from the floor to galvanise support from all members of the water polo community.
See story below, 'England Management Group Report', for more information and a summary of the main strategy proposals.
Your comments on the strategy will be very welcome. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/EnglandWaterPolo/posts/1652687638353476
To access yesterday's presentation in pdf form go to: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/56955303/EWPMG%20ppt%20presentation%20Strategic%20and%20Operational%20plan%20for%20EWP%2014.11.5.pdf
Or in powerpoint from: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/56955303/EWPMG%20ppt%20presentation%20Strategic%20and%20Operational%20plan%20for%20EWP%2014.11.15.pptx
Liverpool Lizards completed the first phase of the season with a 100 per cent record in Division 1 after beating City of Manchester 14-6 at Matlock today, including four goals by Katie Hesketh (pictured).
Four goals each from Nicola Tate and Susan Johnstone set up Caledonia's 12-7 victory over Penguin Emperors. The win earned the Scots the final Super 5s spot but only once defeats were confirmed for immediate rivals Sheffield Sharks (beaten 19-10 by Otter) and Leeds Sharks (who lost 11-6 to Coventry).
In Division 2, Hucknall secured second place with a 16-5 defeat of Manchester Comets. Iceni dropped to the bottom of Division 3 after losing 16-3 at Walsall to Leeds Hammerheads, whose main scorers were Lisa Marshall (6) and Leanne Pochin (4). Iceni also went down 10-7 to Birmingham.
Photo: Trevor Hyde
The long-awaited proposal document for the future of English water polo, by the Ian Elliot-led Management Group, was well received when presented yesterday (14 November) to the ASA. It will now go to the ASA Sport Governing Board for further consideration.
There are still understood to be key areas that will be subject to future discussion. "We wait to hear the outcome of those talks," said BWPL chairman David Andrews today. "But this is a strategy that the League has been happy to endorse and we very much hope that this leads to a situation where the EWPMG can truly and positively determine the future of the sport."
Here is a summary of the EWPMG strategy. Read the report in full here.
Governance, Finance & Resources
1. The EWPMG has identified the authorities which must be delegated to the EWPMG in order to manage water polo and deliver the strategic objectives for water polo as set out in the ASA Strategic Review, ‘The Tunnicliffe Review’.
2. Those authorities should be delegated by the ASA to the EWPMG to manage the sport of water polo in England, in line with principles of good corporate governance.
3. There are 2 options for the management of the sport by the EWPMG, namely direct management of ASA staff by the EWPMG, referred to as Governance Option 1, or management by means of an ASA-employed Water Polo Manager accountable to the EWPMG, Governance Option 2.
4. The EWPMG is clear that Governance Option 1 is its preferred option for delivery of the strategic objectives for water polo.
5. The ASA should determine which of the EWPMG Governance Options proposed will best deliver the requirements of the Jan 2015 ASA Strategic Review, ‘The Tunnicliffe Review’, and put the chosen governance option in place as soon as possible.
6. The EWPMG recognises that the only current meaningful and sustainable element of the sport is that managed by the BWPL, and that the BWPL is a major stakeholder across the programmes of England Water Polo.
7. The EWPMG has identified a schedule of resources required from the ASA to deliver management of water polo.
8. The EWPMG has produced a consolidated water polo cost schedule to deliver the strategic objectives for water polo.
9. The ASA must determine a budget, and EWPMG will allocate the budget and resources accordingly to support England Water Polo.
10. The EWPMG should be transparent and report on its progress, and proposes to do so, including by way of an annual report and conference to the water polo community.
11. The EWPMG should be subject to audit, and held accountable by stakeholders for the management of water polo.
12. The volunteer workforce must be supported and developed for all activities.
Marketing & Communications
13. The EWPMG has identified that the aspirational brand values of England Water Polo are athletic dedication, hard work, professionalism and sporting achievement, and has created a visual identity for the brand which is in line with existing ASA brands’ visual identities.
14. The aspirational values of England Water Polo should be adopted by the ASA and the water polo community, and the visual identity of England Water Polo similarly should be adopted and utilised by the ASA.
15. England Water Polo should be promoted by the ASA as a popular, well organised aquatic team sport for males and females, which delivers on its sporting and administrative goals.
16. The EWPMG has demonstrated that well managed social media can be effective in communicating with the water polo community, and that there is an appetite and value in providing comprehensive comms support for our representative teams, and in relation to England Water Polo generally.
17. The EWPMG has identified matters of underperformance in relation to the management and delivery of PR & comms and web-based marketing by the ASA in relation to England Water Polo.
18. The ASA should therefore manage its PR & comms, and web-based marketing effectively, and in particular the ASA should develop the concept of editorial planning, improve the performance of its water polo hub, evaluate the performance of its PR & comms and web-based marketing, and provide appropriate resources, as identified by the EWPMG, in order to support and promote England Water Polo.
19. A sustainable increase in participation in water polo should be achieved, by means of implementation of a considered participation strategy.
20. There should be an increase in the number of Swim21 water polo centres.
21. The England Men’s and Women’s Senior Program should re-commence in 2016.
22. The International Age Group Programme should be re-focussed to encompass age groups within 2 years of competition, in line with the U19 and U17 European competition format.
23. The RTC program for junior athletes should be reviewed and refocussed. Broader engagement with the Regions will be required in order to deliver a credible regional programme of training (RTC) and Competition (Competition Blocks).
24. The junior and senior competition structure should be reviewed and revised to increase the level and number of competitive fixtures.
Match Official Development
25. The number and quality of match officials should be increased by means of a considered programme of changes.
Coach Education and development
26. By means of a comprehensive and affordable education programme, the number and quality of coach and team managers should be increased.
Caledonia made a last-ditch bid for a Super 5s place by claiming their first win of the women's Division 1 programme at Matlock today - 8-5 against Sheffield Sharks. They never looked back after taking a 5-1 first period lead with goals by Gael Logan (3) and Hannah Edwards (2).
It meant that, if the Scots defeat bottom team Penguin Emperors tomorrow and both Sheffield Sharks and Leeds Sharks lose their matches, Caledonia will join Liverpool Lizards, City of Manchester, Otter and Coventry in the top tier.
The Lizards cruised through their latest match, crushing Leeds 20-2. It wasn't so straightforward for Otter, who led 5-2 early in the second quarter against Coventry only to find themselves all square at 6-6 in the third as the Midlanders scored through Vicki Hawkins (2), Rhianne Oscroft and Claire Walmsley. However, Otter's experience showed in the final period as goals by Lex Higlett, Peggy Etiebet and Hannah Patchett secured an 11-8 win. Claudia Ferrone scored four for Otter.
Casey Smith (4), Ella Chadderton (3) and Emma Bartlett (3) led the Manchester scoring in a 12-7 defeat of Penguin.
Tyldesley's girls made sure of progress to Championship 1 by defeating Liverpool Liver Birds 7-5 and bottom team Manchester Comets 12-6 at Matlock today.
The other places go to Mid Sussex Marlins, Otter Lutra, Hucknall and Welsh Wanderers. Liverpool were 4-3 down midway through the third period against Hucknall but Lucy Shaw equalised and claimed the only goal of the final quarter to give Liverpool the points.
Jessica Arthur scored just over a minute from the end to give City of Birmingham a 6-5 victory over Liverpool Water Beatles at Walsall today. Liverpool had led 3-1 earlier on.
Birmingham join Devonport, Southampton and Polytechnic in Championship 2 in the second phase of the season. The vital fifth place will be decided tomorrow between Sunderland, Iceni and Leeds Hammerheads.
Check out the fixtures pages for details of the programme of matches in men's Championship 2, 3 and 4 in the second half of the season.
Please note that Basildon have withdrawn from Championship 4, which becomes a nine-team competition.
Phase 2 fixtures for all women's divisions will be announced immediately after matches this coming weekend; with men's Super 5s and Championship 1 to follow after the programme at Cardiff on 21/22 November.
Sutton & Cheam, an ever-present men's national league club since competition began in 1963, will slip to the third tier for the first time after narrowly missing out on qualification for Championship 1 at Lancaster today.
The day had started with Welsh Wanderers, led by seven-goal Dan Laxton (pictured), beating Polytechnic 13-10.
It meant that Sutton had to defeat Worthing in their final Division 2 match to leapfrog the Welsh into the vital fifth place behind Solihull, Polytechnic, Worthing and Croydon Amphibians.
They trailed early on but were only a goal behind near the end of the third period when 15-year-old Jack Watt reduced the Worthing advantage to 5-4. Another youngster, 17-year-old Tom Kane, made it 6-4 at the beginning of the last period, before Stephen Bayles replied for Sutton to make it 6-5. The tense final minutes saw the teams take three time-outs - but without producing another goal.
Later, Solihull beat Croydon 14-9, which meant they finished the first phase of the season with a 100 per cent record. At the other end of the table, James Salt netted six as Manchester Hawks picked up their first point with an 8-8 draw against Penguin. Salt's last two goals levelled the match after the Londoners led 8-6 deep into the final period.
Mid Sussex Marlins took over from Hucknall at the top of women's Division 2 with a 19-10 victory over Welsh Wanderers at Walsall. Danica Brazier led the Marlins' scoring with seven.
Later, Marlins won a much closer game against English Roses - 8-7.
Hucknall were not in action this weekend - they play their final matches of phase one at Matlock next Saturday and Sunday.