Students have been playing water polo at Trinity for decades, but in the last two years the sport has reached new heights. With both the U16 and U18 teams winning School’s League titles this year, the U13, U15 and U18 boys’ teams reaching the national finals both this year and last, and the U18 girls’ team making the national finals for the last three years, it’s clear that Trinity is the water polo powerhouse of the south of England.
Those that play water polo are fortunate to work with expert coaches. Sean King, who attended Trinity and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, and Ian Marsh, who has coached many National Championship winning teams, set the highest of standards and go the extra mile in helping their charges achieve remarkable results. Mr King played for the Senior National team for eight years, making his debut at 16, and played professionally in Spain and Germany. He is currently head coach of the GB U19 Men’s team. Ian Marsh has been involved with Trinity Water Polo for over 45 years, and has seen many teams achieve great success in competitions. Mr King said: “the vast majority of students who join us have never played water polo before, and we don’t give sports scholarships for water polo. Our players achieve their success through their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment”.
Participation levels in water polo are at their highest since the game was first played at Trinity, with 100 students regularly taking part, and many also playing for their local club outside school. Players take advantage of the world-class facilities at the School, which regularly see Trinity being approached to host major competitions.
With first-rate facilities and expert coaches, it’s little wonder that so many Trinity players have achieved national and international honours. A whole host of students have represented England and Great Britain at school level, with five men and three women achieving full national honours. Current Sixth Form student, Maclaren Crawford, played for the U17 GB team in the European Qualification Tournament last May, and Douglas Sheppard and Archie Pearson are part of the GB U17 squad, preparing for competition in 2019. Kathy Rogers, who left Trinity in 2017, was awarded a full sports scholarship Michigan University, one of the top Water Polo universities in America.
Students are encouraged to participate in many different activities at Trinity, and many water polo players also represent the school in other co-curricular activities, be they sport, music or drama. With sometimes only one hour of water polo training each week, students work hard, but their coaches also ensure they enjoy their time in the water. Sean King, Trinity’s Head of Aquatics, said: “we encourage students to attend training, but it’s not compulsory. Students willingly participate and, whilst we do work them hard, we always try to make sure that they are having fun and enjoying their training.”
With world-class coaches and facilities, and an ethos which seeks to bring out the best in every player, it’s clear that Trinity water polo is destined to go from strength to strength for years to come.
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