April saw the first month of Academy without the use of the pool. Unfortunately, it also saw the full force of Storm Hannah on saturday which meant it was not safe to use the water for most of the day. This led to the children watching videos to help them understand tactics. The team that was being entered in the Charleroi tournament then fabloned their boats and sorted their BAs out. Late afternoon saw a drop in wind & rain and the more experienced paddlers were allowed on the dock but it was deemed still too choppy for the younger children so they did some fitness, ball & paddle skills. Sunday was much nicer weather and focus was on paddling, mainly match play and preparation for the Charleroi tournament.
June’s weather was much kinder to the 30 attendees with Saturday mornings land-based warm up being bright and sunny, which continued with a water based warm-up of ‘Trains’ in groups of 6 making full use of the long open dock. This was followed with the usual Pass &Move exercise and 3-1 Defence. 2nd session of the day was fitness training with pitch length sprints with 360& 180 turns thrown in !! in other words ‘Hammond/Clyde’ races. The first day was finished off with some games of 6 teams of similar ability matches.
This months carvery meal saw a record number of children as well as parents taking advantage of the eat as many vegetables as you like! These evening meals provide a fantastic opportunity for the children to socialise together, have fun and build their friendships (and the parent groups likewise)
Sunday morning started off a bit wet (not that the kids were troubled by that) with MORE ‘Hammond/Clyde’ races using both pitches at the same time (but width ways) as a warm-up. As the day went on the weather improved and so did the joviality of the kids. Spirits were running high and this led to some great team matches at the end of the day with the Team entering the Liverpool International tournament this weekend coming, playing together against the other teams. The weekend was finished off with the usual debrief by all the coaches and targets for the children to aim for.
FOA has been working hard on improving their facilities at the Dock. In the past, the Scuba diving club has allowed the Academy to use their changing rooms and shower areas, but FOA are working towards having their own self-contained area and have obtained some containers which the members have transformed into a covered viewing area for parents to watch training sessions from. These also include male/female changing rooms with a view to fit showers/toilets and a mini Gym at a later date. One area has been set aside as a lecture room/ kitchen and social area. There will also be a new perimeter fence and entry gate which obviously adds to the safety of the children.
None of this could happen if it wasn’t for Mike and the coaches giving up their weekends and the parents would like to say a Massive Thank You for all they do to help the children progress their polo skills. The academy seemingly also works so well because the players, parents adults albeit that they come from a number of different clubs countrywide all seem to see themselves working towards and in support of the self-same objectives.
Written by Su Morris and photos By Cliff Webb