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New wave of success charted by York water polo aces
YORK City Water Polo Club are this weekend taking the plunge in the British National League for the first time since the 1980s.
The club enjoyed success on the national stage between the mid-1960s and 1984, and a recent surge in membership has prompted a return to the elite league.
The campaign gets under way today, with York City competing in division five against seven other teams over six weekends between now and mid-December.
Club spokesman Lee Toomey said: “The step up to the National League is a big one.
“It has been driven by club members that had a taste for the big league and believe that it will be a great opportunity for the club to develop and a powerful incentive for future generations of players.”
He added: “Although a significant commitment, the opportunity to develop players through this competition is one that cannot be missed.
“A strong and developing squad, coupled with a commitment to developing the Youth Section, could serve to re-establish York City Water Polo Club as a major force in the National League.”
The water polo club is linked with York City Baths Club, which is an umbrella organisation for swimming, triathlon and water polo.
The York City Water Polo Club originally entered the National League in 1966 and performed well until 1971, when it merged with other teams from the area to form County of York Water Polo Team.
The team competed in the National Water Polo League until 1984, taking the division two title in 1966 and 1976.
The club boasted three Great Britain representatives during that period – Peter Kendrew, David Howarth and David Clegg, who still works with the club’s youth section.
The club also field teams in the Wakefield & District League and works in tandem with players from the University of York.
Toomey said: “There is already lots of water polo played in and around York.
“York City Water Polo Club currently has two senior teams playing in the Wakefield & District League and an under-16 squad that has just competed in the league for the first time.
“The club also holds training sessions at St Peter’s School for children as young as eight. In addition, the University of York has two teams that train regularly and compete nationwide.”
He added: “With a strong base of water polo players across the community of York, an increasing talent pool and renewed interest in the sport through the youth section, the future looks bright for water polo in York.”
In division five of the British National League, York will face Croyden-based Whitgiftians, Sheffield Dolphins, Kent’s Invicta Marlins, Basildon, Southampton, Cheltenham Spartans and Dover.
Today they open their fixture programme with a clash against Southampton in Walsall before taking on Dover at the same venue tomorrow.
On September 28 and 29 they will face Sheffield Dolphins and Basildon in Sheffield.
Further details about the club are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Youngsters interested in taking up the sport can attend training sessions at Archbishop Holgate’s School on Thursdays, from 8.30pm, and at St Peter’s School, every Sunday from 6.30pm.
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