After guiding his team to victory over Castleford on day one at Haberdashers, he headed for Birmingham to attend British Swimming’s annual awards presentations, where, much to his surprise, he picked up the Water Polo Coach of the Year accolade. After that, duty called – and he was back on the road again in time for Worthing’s early morning clash with Sedgefield.
His reaction to the award? “It’s a little bit embarrassing,” he said. “I don’t know why I was nominated. I’ve never had ambitions to coach at a higher level – for me, it’s been very much a one-club thing since I started swimming with the Worthing club as a five-year-old. Water polo followed at about the age of 12 and, at 63, I’m still involved. Maybe the award just recognises longevity and bloody-mindedness to make things happen.”
Probably the most satisfying element for Alastair has been the successful development of Worthing’s junior programme, run by a strong team. Worthing’s squad against Sedgefield included six juniors – all members of the NAGs under-17 title-winning side in 2022 and the under-19s this year. More talent will no doubt follow – thanks to a steady feed from the Drenched Mini Polo initiative launched across Sussex by ex-Worthing player Matt White.