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:”

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:
You can read Chris’ ACM update here (as acting Chairperson):
Committee Structure:
ACM minutes:

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:

The core coach training is on the 16th-17th February:…

To those who have completed core training, the Polo specific course is on the 30th-31st March:…

You must be logged in to the coaching portal first for these links to work! Any questions please email

Safety Alert – Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis)

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We have been made aware of a paddler in the East Midland’s region who was diagnosed with Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) on Saturday 17th November. Our thoughts are with the paddler and their family, as they fight the condition. Please see the below link for safety advice on prevention and treatment for the disease 👇👇👇

Jack Playford Nominated for Sportsman of the Year – World Paddle Awards

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The World Paddle Awards nominees for 2018 were announced this morning, our very own Jack Playford has been nominated as Sportsman of the year!

It’s an enormous honour to be nominated and a fantastic testament to his hard work as part of the 2x World Championship winning 🇬🇧 U21 Men:
“Without the parents, coaches and support staff none of this would be possible. Not to mention my teammates who are crazy enough to dedicate their lives to this sport, training 24/7, with guys like them it makes winning anything possible. So, thank you!”
Please follow the link to read Jack’s citation and cast your vote!

Whilst you visit please also recognize the achievement of our 🇩🇪 Kanupolo peers. The senior men are nominated in the Team category for their clinching of the world championship for the first time whilst overcoming the emotional weight of loosing a teammate.

It’s fantastic for polo to receive these nominations, every vote will help publicize our sport to the wider paddling community.

GB Squads 2018 Signup

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As part of the GB Squads programme of development the first full Squads Weekend of the 2019 Season is to be held at Hatfield Water Park, Old Thorne Road, Doncaster, DN7 6EQ, on Saturday 3th & Sunday 4th November 2018, commencing promptly at 9.30am on Saturday and ending by 4pm on Sunday.

The weekend is open to all Polo players involved in the squads during 2018, as well as previous squad members who have been involved at any time during the last 5 years, who would like the opportunity of trying out to join one of the GB squads for the 2019 season.

Cost £70.00 per paddler.
Attendees will be reimbursed mileage costs but are expected to take all reasonable measures to minimise travel costs through car sharing.

Tea and coffee will be provided (please bring your own mug) as will an evening meal on Saturday. Please bring your own breakfast & lunch.
Paddlers will need to provide their own equipment, several changes of kit will be required.

To register your interest in attending, please complete this online form by 5th October 2018: