Development Academy Blog 29/05/19

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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

New for 2019 – Southern Development Academy

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Following the success of the Liverpool based Development Academy and the Welsh Academy a Southern Academy is starting. Please find all the relevant info below. Please email southerndevelopmentacademy@canoepolo.org.uk.
Southern Development Academy

Based at Danson Park, Bexleyheath, Kent DA9 9FN

Please share this notice with anyone that you feel it is relevant to.  We are targeting paddlers who wish to progress in the sport of canoe polo and who have the desire in the future to compete Internationally either for their club or country. The expected aged of paddlers is U23 at the moment but this may lower in the future.

Why Now?

We are now looking to increase the capacity of the British development academy initiative by creating a second hub in the south of England currently being based at Danson Park, Bexleyheath.

How will it work?

It is hoped that the southern development academy hub will be supported by coaches from a variety of clubs and that in time we may also leverage coaches from British Canoeing and other knowledgeable individuals to deliver sessions on specific elements of our sport whereby they have specific knowledge.

What about the Liverpool Academy?

The Liverpool based academy is significantly oversubscribed and as a result not everyone who wishes to attend has been able. The development academies will not be working independent of each other and it is highly likely that teams entered into competitions will be a mix of the two academies.

What is on offer?

We are proposing to run initially 4 weekend training events related to the southern development hub. We will discuss possibly including several competitions however players will be expected to play with their club teams if their club teams are attending an event as well as the development academy.

What do you need?

A good polo ball, full set of polo kit and multiple changes of soft clothing, 2 sets of clothing and trainers for land based activity. All day canoeist are not permitted!

Proposed Southern Development Academy weekends

Date                                                Venue/Activity

18/05/2019 -19/05/2019            Danson Park / Training

01/06/2019 – 02/06/2019             Liverpool

22/06/2019 – 23/06/2019             Hull

20/07/2019 – 21/07/2019             Danson Park / Training

31/07/2019 – 04/08/2019            Belfast U21, U18 U15 under this age on 1st Jan

03/08/2019 – 04/08/2019             Wales

31/08/2019 – 01/09/2019             Danson Park / Training

14/09/2019 – 15/09/2019            British Open

28/09/2019 – 29/09/2019             Danson Park / Training

The initial training weekend will cost £30-£40 this will only cover the cost of water access/tournament fee, accommodation and a Saturday evening meal. Travel costs will not be included in this budget, we will attempt to facilitate sensible arrangements that will keep the cost as low as possible for everyone. More will be confirmed once numbers are known.

Please can you confirm:

If you will be attending the weekend of the 18/05/2019?

If you require accommodation on the Saturday night?

Please note:

If you are attending the Div 2 Regional League Rickmansworth 2b tournament on the 19/05/2019 then you will be charged a reduced rate for the Saturday only.

National Championship Entries Extended to 31/03

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Entries received (subject to payment check):

Open:
Bridgend Canoe Club Sharks, Manchester Wildcats Canoe Polo A, Titans Canoe ClubViking Canoe Polo A, Cherwell Canoe Club A, Pennine Canoe & Rowing Club – PCRC A, Red Rose Canoe ClubBlackwater Valley Canoe Club A, Dragon Canoe ClubKingston Kayak Club A, Kingston B, Trentham Canoe Polo Team, Ulster U21, Ulster Titans, Viking B, Liverpool Canoe Polo And Kayak Club-Friends of Allonby Z, East End Canoe Polo, Bristol Avon Canoe PoloMeridian Canoe Club E.

Women:
Red Rose Ladies, Avon Ladies, Blackwater Valley Ladies, Cherwell, Meridian Ladies, Bridgend Ladies

Youth:
Bridgend Youth, St Albans, Kington Youth, Ulster U15, Ulster U18A, Ulster U18B, Meridian Youth.

Thank you for your entries! To round out numbers we have reopened entries up until Sunday evening (27/03/19) on a first come first serve basis. Please share with your club! https://goo.gl/forms/Y5u8VmJP8YKflvDt1

In other news, we are hoping to make the first use of new off water facilities as the buildings are being replaced 🏗️. Camping is available to book through the HPP website, we may be able to provide a discount code in the coming days. 

Youth Summer Series – U16 and U18 Years Canoe Polo

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“Dependant on the interest Friends of Allonby Canoe Club, Liverpool are prepared to host a number of both U16 and 18 years old canoe polo youth events over the summer at their Collingwood venue. Most of the detail will revolve around the level of interest but it is envisaged that events will take place on a monthly weekend cycle from June through until September.
Considerations such as the event being on a weekend day or a weekend event, U16 year olds playing with a Lowered Goal and a Size 3 Ball, relaxed contact rules, rules workshops can all be taken into account within the initiative.
At this point in time we would like to invite ‘Expressions of Interest’ from clubs, teams and individuals. The Entry Fee will be pitched in at £2.00 per participant. As the event s will be held on open water Interested Teams and Clubs must be able to afford their own adequate safety cover. As a minimum players must have the ability to exit their boat safely on open water.
If you are interested then please get in touch:
headcompcoach@friendsofallonby.org.uk”

Report from the first Academy Weekend of 2019

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So, 2019 has started well for the 30 youth participants at the GB Development Academy in Liverpool this weekend. On Saturday morning the weather was kind for the time of year which allowed the kids to do a 20 min land warm up as well as a full hour and a half session outdoors on the dock at Collingwood. This consisted of groups of 4/5 doing ‘trains’ and then 2 and 2 possession, followed by attack and defense sessions.
The Academy have been lucky to secure the use of a pool and gym from 3 until 7pm on the Saturday and 9am Sunday until 5pm. The youth are split into 3 groups of ability, with a set rota for each session. Each group uses the gym doing circuits and ball throwing skills. The session includes penalties for a missed ball – press ups on the spot! This includes the coaches! They do not stand and dish out the orders they also participate. Always brings a bit of humour to the session.
Then onto the small pool which is used to perfect support strokes, ball work and rolling techniques. A lot of “team-building” can be found in this pool (mainly how to dunk your best mate when Mike isn’t looking!) While in the small pool the kids also take it in turns to do a session on the Ergo which helps to improve paddling technique and simulates the lactic test on dry land. On Sunday they do a 500m time trial and their times are compared each month to monitor progress and record achievement.
The main pool is for structured drills, boat handling and shooting accuracy. On Sunday the afternoon ends with playing full games and trying to implement the new skills they have learnt over the weekend. The Academy also encourages the kids to ref these games themselves while being shadowed by the coaches, with words of advice and encouragement for those who would normally shy away from reffing – giving them the confidence to blow that whistle!
This month saw a new start to the Sunday morning with a MASSIVE get together in the gym. This session was SO much fun not just for the kids and coaches but the parents watching. BENCH BALL!! Oh yes…. what fun and a great Academy bonding session. There was no hiding – jesting and teamwork all part of the enjoyment! The best thing about it was that these kids know HOW to throw a ball, HOW to get into the right position to catch the ball, it encourages movement for kids who normally use the water to move, they had to use their feet running/jumping but at the same time STOP when they caught the ball. It was great to see the skills they had learnt on the water being used on land – and giving them an excellent cardiac workout at the same time! The best way to wake up on Sunday morning.
Can’t wait to do it all again next month!
Su Morris

National Championship Date change

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We’ve listened to feedback regarding the dates of the National Championships this year. It has always been our intention, following discussion last year, to split the Women’s competition into a separate weekend so that the entries are not impacted by competitors who opt to focus on their club’s open side entry. It naturally made sense to also, therefore, host the Youth competition on the same weekend.

The dates chosen in May (due to a packed April calendar) have proven to be too close to the school and university exam period for a large number of competitors. In order to facilitate the competition a compromise has been made:

The National Championships will now be hosted on the weekend of the 13th and 14th of April. The Women’s and Youth tournaments will take place on Saturday the 13th only.

The open competition will run over two divisions: Trophy and Shield. The top 12 entries based on this seasons National League standings will receive an automatic bye to the trophy competition on Sunday. All remaining entries will first compete on Saturday in the Shield. The top 4 ranked teams on Saturday evening will then progress into the Trophy competition for Sunday and all other teams will continue to compete for placings.

This compromise will hopefully allow the widest number of participants to attend. It enables Youth paddlers to be transported more easily and competitors to focus on the Women’s/Youth competitions before joining their Open sides for the placing matches. It also still allows for any entry in the open league to potentially win the competition – a crucial long-standing tradition!

We apologise for altering the calendar but hope you understand the reasoning and will help us make the competition a success. The numbers given here for the Trophy and promotion from the shield are not set in stone and may change with final entry numbers.

A look back at 2018

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2018 was a big year for British Canoe Polo:

It’s hard not to start with the strong performances of our international sides throughout the season culminating with the amazing achievements of our Senior Women claiming the Silver medal and the U21 Men re-claiming the World Championship out in Canada! 🥈🇬🇧🏆 Our referees were also recognized with Elan selected to referee the Men’s final.

Closer to home the National Leagues completed with Kingston Kayak Club and Friends of Allonby claiming the titles (Open and Women’s league respectively). Friends of Allonby, Meridian and Ulster Canoe Polo triumphed at the National Club Championships at the Home Venue (Open, Women’s and Youth leagues).

At a grassroots level, there have been major initiatives flourishing: The Development Academy continues to grow from strength to strength and was outlined as a clear pathway to future international selection. It’s impossible not to notice the impact these youth players are having returning to their club sides with new skills and a focused training mentality. The second tier of the Women’s league removed “Development” from the title to become Division 2 North and South with a record 15 entries! This would not have been possible without the dedication of league organisers over the years to generate stability, promote inclusion and make these leagues a full-time reality. Across the whole national league, a significant restructure was rolled out by League Organisers to help decrease travel, improve value and make the leagues sustainable. The regional leagues continue to grow with the Welsh League reforming and the South East league running with 3 divisions after only a few years.

Finally, the highlight of the year has to be the European Club Championships hosted in Nottingham. It has been a long time since a major international canoe polo event was held in the UK and took months of careful planning. All the volunteers, sponsors, supporters and of course athletes should be immensely proud of the event we held. The cherry on top was the success of both Friends of Allonby sides: the Men taking Silver and the Women taking the title! 🎉

In 2019 the focus will shift to a new 4-year cycle of growth for our international sides before the European Championships. The national and regional leagues are back with a bang in January with >25 tournaments being held. Over in Northern Ireland, the Junior International Championships returns, a fantastic initiative to drive Youth growth.

Thank you for your support this year! We are always looking for volunteers to help run and develop our sport, please get in touch.

Your New Committee +ACM Minutes

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Following the recent ACM the 18/19 British Canoeing Canoe Polo Committee is:
Chairperson & SW representative: Steve Watts
Vice Chairperson & National Leagues Organiser: Chris Arrowsmith
Treasurer & performance Chairperson: Derek Playford
Chief Referee: Elan Winter
Publicity Officer: David McBay
Secretary: Mark Dolan
Coaching & Welsh Chairperson: Zoe Anthony
Welfare & NE representative: Sara Potter
Scottish CPC Representative: Chris Carracher
South East Chairperson: Michael Burbeck
North West Chairperson: Matt Carter
North East Chairperson: AP Gair
Welsh Representative: Dave Siegel

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard Potter and Aziz Raoudi!

Committee Profiles: canoepolo.org.uk/committee
You can read Chris’ ACM update here (as acting Chairperson): https://www.dropbox.com/s/0xqvb716fvlu4et/Chairperson2018.docx?dl=0
Committee Structure: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xHGdCqGPYIAAoUfkmDIuL-j0hya7_xLipOv-MvKPies/edit?usp=sharing
ACM minutes: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7d4qryh80m0f94/ACM%20minutes%2017th%20Nov%202018%20.docx?dl=0

Coaching Courses!

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British Canoeing are supporting polo by organizing a core coach training course and a polo coach training course. More details on the new Polo Coach Award can be found on the British Canoeing Awarding Body website: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/courses/coach-award

The core coach training is on the 16th-17th February: https://britishcanoeing.azolve.com/Workbench.mvc/Show/6…

To those who have completed core training, the Polo specific course is on the 30th-31st March: https://britishcanoeing.azolve.com/Workbench.mvc/Show/6…

You must be logged in to the coaching portal first for these links to work! Any questions please email zoe.paddling@gmail.com.