The development academy has started for 2019/20! Here is a report from the first weekend in Liverpool (Northern Academy):
Development Academy Assessments September 7th & 8th
This weekend saw the start of the annual training cycle for the Development Academy at Collingwood Dock in Liverpool. With over 50 expressions of interest received, it was set to be a very busy initial assessment event. Altogether, 47 attendees drawn from 15 Clubs from all over the Country attended. Of these, at least 24 were new names not previously known to the Academy setup.
The weather was kind and in order to manage the numbers, the attendees were split into two main groups, which alternated their time on the two pitches over the two days.
Four on the water sessions were held each day per group. Structured off the water time consisted of introduction to tactics, briefings, land-based ball work, paddling technique on ergo machines and breaks. Initial assessments were made of each participant covering core paddling and ball handling skills and progressed to possession and basic tactics, building through into scenarios and full game sessions to finish the weekend.
Thanks again to FOA for hosting and continuing to accommodate the Academy and allow the use of club facilities. The club has recently undergone a major development at the site and is now able to provide extra space, meeting rooms, tea and coffee and changing facilities as well as pitchside viewing under shelter for all the supporting parents and adults.
The paddlers as part of their attendance fee are provided with a hot meal on the Saturday evening at a local Carvery, accommodation is available for participants at a local Scout hut and a basic breakfast on the Sunday morning is also provided. The event size meant over 65 attended the evening meal with participants, parents and coaches all eating together.
The Academy is scheduled to meet once a month and during the Winter when the weather turns inclement, it is planned to hold a number of sessions at a local Leisure Centre making use of a sports hall and swimming pool.
A final thank you to all the Coaching team, adult volunteers at the club, as well as parents for bringing our youngsters to these events, without whom they would not take place.
Let’s hope this year continues to build on the success of bringing our young paddlers on in their Polo Development. After being established for around five years, it was very pleasing to see that out of the 32 players in the 4 GB teams that competed and did so well at the recent European Championships in Coimbra, we can now say that 17 of these came through the Academy here at Liverpool.