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Swim England is aiming to double the number of registered water polo players in the next five years as part of its new strategy to develop the sport. On 29 April the NGB’s  Water Polo Leadership Group has published the comprehensive Swim England Water Polo Strategy 2020-2025, which details a number of targets to help the sport grow, and has been developed following months of consultations with players, officials, volunteers and sports administrators. The strategy is the vision of the Swim England Water Polo Leadership Group chairman Toby King, who is keen to boost the profile of the sport.

A total of 6,900 water polo players were registered with Swim England in 2019 but the goal is to see that number increase to 14,000 by 2025. The document details plans to enhance participation and training at every level of the sport. Swim England’s competition structure will be reviewed and there will be a drive to recruit more technical officials at all levels of the game. The strategy also includes a real impetus on coaching, with a regular coaches’ forum and opportunities to share training techniques.

Strategy to be proud of

There will also be better communication with the water polo community, which will include reports on how well performance targets are being met. Toby King said: “Despite the current challenging circumstances, I am delighted to be publishing our five-year vision for water polo. We believe we can double the number of registered players in the next few years, which should help us boost the profile of the sport. This will lead to more and better competitions, coaches and officials, as well as helping us compete on the global stage and attracting more funding.”