Amy, year 11, was recently among those selected to represent the English Schools Swimming Association in a water polo tournament in Malta over the October half-term break.
Mr Burton met with Amy earlier this week to share her experiences from participating in water polo and the tournament itself abroad. Amy has played water polo for a number of years, playing mainly as a wing, and had been selected to compete in the Barcelona International Turbo Cup earlier this year. Her team took second place, after only losing in the final on 3 rounds of penalties. This resulted in her later being selected for the ESSA to compete in the tournament in Malta.
The English Schools Swimming Association was formed in 1949, initially organising swimming and diving championships for pupils in secondary schools. Over the years water polo and synchronised swimming championships have been added to the list, and for the past ten years the team championships have been extended to primary schools. Added to the full domestic programme there are also internationals competitions both in swimming and water polo. ESSA is a member of the International Schools’ Federation and competes in both the World Schools’ Games and European Games.*
The week didn’t start off great for Amy, telling us how just a few days before the first match she had fallen down the stairs in the hotel and was subsequently unable to play the first match. Despite that gutting start, she competed in the following match against the Malta seniors team and had won the match with an incredible score of 14-2! She said “I learnt a lot from the experience in Malta, especially in social skills. I love seeing the different countries where the tournaments take me.”
Amy has a busy schedule outside of school and her water polo events – she regularly helps out at her aunt’s swimming school as a teacher, she volunteers with Brownies one day a week, has three hours of swimming training once a week and also, incredibly, hosts her own coaching sessions on the weekends; she said “the idea is to get more people interested and make the learning experience fun but develop their skills at the same time.”
Thinking for the future, Amy’s plans are to go to College and either study Early Years or sign up to an apprenticeship. She also hopes to go on in water polo and compete in the Europeans and Worlds competitions.
* History of ESSA: http://www.essa-schoolswimming.com/index.php/about/history