British Swimming to Fund Men’s Water Polo, For Now
In a pre-holiday lump of coal, last week British Swimming found out that they would lose £4 million in government lottery funding, and men’s water polo learned that they had completely lost government funding.
British Swimming (which unlike USA Swimming runs all 5 aquatic disciplines in the UK) has relieved a bit of limbo from the men’s national water polo program as they have committed to support the team at least through their next major competition.
In April of 2013, the British men will head to the nation of Georgia for a qualifier against Georgia, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic that will determine entrants for the 2014 European Championships. That’s a good draw for the British men, as none of the teams in that group have qualified for the European Championships since 2008. The Slovaks are probably the favorite in the mini round-robin tournament, but there is a great opportunity for a British men’s team, if inspired, to qualify for the play-in tournament. If they were able to somehow make the European Championship tournament (which is still a longshot), it would provide some inspiration for them to regain government funding in 2014.
Clearly there will be disappointment that men’s water polo missed out but we will now work hard with the vibrant British Water Polo community to see what we can do to build an effective and appropriate programme for them,” said David Sparkes, CEO of British Swimming.
British Swimming committed to support the team en route to the April 2013 qualifying tournament, but made no statement beyond that.
British Gas International Details Released
British Swimming announced earlier this month that they were moving their 2013 World Championship Trials to June, much closer to the actual World Championships, and away from the March British Gas Championships.
With that meet still hanging prominently on the schedule, however, the organization is retooling it as an “international,” hoping that it will draw top swimmers from around Europe and the World.
More entry details have been released about the renamed British Gas International Swimming Meet, including dates from March 7th-10th at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds, which is located in the central part of the island.
It’s a smaller facility with seating for just 1,100, but it did host the Dutch and Chinese Olympic Teams in the run up to the 2012 Games, which shows the quality of the tank.
The meet will be prelims-finals, with a separate junior final every evening (making specific junior paths for experience at these big meets is something the Brits always emphasize).
The qualifying times, which can be seen here, are fairly reasonable to attract a big meet, and include slower standards for junior swimmers. Full details for the meet are available here.