Upper Sixth student Dan D has been selected to represent the Great British U19 Water Polo team and play throughout Europe, having first learnt water polo at King’s Worcester.
Dan first started playing water polo at nine years of age with Worcester Crocodiles at King’s Worcester’s swimming pool. Since then, he has progressed from playing for the West Midlands at several inter-regional tournaments to playing for England U17s in 2019. After Dan’s success at the British Swimming Nationals in 2018, he then decided to focus his swimming career on water polo.
Dan is an accomplished swimmer competing at the English Home Nations in 2017, and reached three finals at the British Nationals in 2018, placing 8th in all three. Dan’s strength in swimming has aided his success at water polo.
Since June 2021, Dan has trialled and was selected to be in the GB U19 Squad, consisting of 22 players. Dan went on an intensive training camp in Hannover, Germany in October 2021 and then played for GB U19 at the EU Nations tournament in Bruno-Czechoslovakia in November 2021.
More recently, in February Dan faced his final selection trial, where 22 players attended to fight for 14 places in the team. Where Dan was successful in making the final cut.
Dan will now have a training camp in Hannover, Germany to play with the German U19 side and will then attend a practice tournament two days later in Slovakia. Over the 14th-16th April Dan will be competing at the LEN European Qualifiers in Malta.
Dan trains three times a week with Cheltenham Water Polo Club, alongside strength and conditioning gym sessions and swim sessions all planned by his coach. Since last summer his dedicated training schedule also includes two weekends a month in Manchester (Friday-Sunday).
With A-Levels coming up, Dan will have to manage his busy schedule with revising abroad in his breaks and keeping on top of work between training and playing.
Next year Dan hopes to continue with water polo at university, with Nottingham being his first choice. Nottingham currently has a strong first team, which compete in the top British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) League, in which Dan is hoping to compete.
Dan adds, “I am very grateful for the support King’s had given me, not just with the sporting side (from long and hard gym sessions with Harry!) to the education side, where the teachers have helped me balance my time and extend deadlines where necessary. I hope I am one of the many upcoming water polo athletes at King’s, as the sport is gaining in popularity, which is promising to see.”
Dan has been asked by the GB U19 team to help with generating funding to enable the team to compete at these tournaments. The team is self-funded for training camps, kit, travel and subsistence, so are grateful for any donation made. Donations can be made here.
A huge well done to Dan on his successes within water polo. We wish Dan the best of luck for the future with his application to university and at the European Qualifiers.