Sport Spotlight: an introduction to Water Polo
Abi Taphouse introduces readers to the university’s Water Polo Club and what they have been up to in this difficult year
Often deemed one of the most physically demanding sports to play, it is no surprise that Water Polo is one of the smaller AU clubs at Exeter. But, despite it’s size, the Exeter University Water Polo Club had four successful teams competing in BUCS matches as long as COVID allowed. Offering a First and Second team for both men and women enables players new to the game plenty of opportunity to build their skills from the ground up.
In a water polo match, each team consists of the starting seven, plus up to six subs, who are able to sub in and out at any point throughout the four eight-minute quarters. Usually offering four or more training sessions a week, Water Polo develops skills through swim sets, drills and game play, with training taking place at St Luke’s Pool and Pyramids Leisure Centre.
We managed to have three swim sessions in Term 1, but once the second lockdown was implemented all training was cancelled again. Unfortunately for all clubs, COVID has meant that any sessions we do run have to go through even more rigorous risk assessments by both us and the AU, which meant we weren’t able to run sessions from as early on as we had hoped. This was frustrating but understandable as both the club and the AU are working as hard as possible to make the experience for our members as good as it could be.
More generally, EUWPC fosters an environment of development, with teams consisting of people who have played nationally and internationally, as well as people who have never played before. Pre COVID, we offered a range of socials, including the usual trip to TP Wednesday! In 2019/20 the Social Secs and Welfare Secs organised brunches, a Firehouse night and a sponsored Swimathon for Movember. It has been a real shame this year that we couldn’t run any in person socials as one of the best aspects of EUWPC is the sense of family experienced by its members, but we hope to be back for September 2021!
This year instead we have run a number of online socials which have been really successful. Our social secs have tried to make sure each social is different, we have played Among Us, Psych, quizzes as well as a number of other different games to compete in. It has also been great to virtually meet some of our members’ housemates who joined in. Throughout the year we have been running zoom workout classes and zoom drop in coffee mornings so we can all catch up informally.
As a smaller club it would have been really easy to just disappear when COVID happened, but both committee and our members have remained close; something which lays testament to the bonds within the club. Water Polo is a great sport for beginners to get into as it builds upon any (or no) pre-existing swimming and ball skills and we hope next year can still be a success, despite a disappointing 2020!
If you are interested in finding out more about EUWPC, or would like to try it out for yourself, please get in touch with any of their social media pages: Exeter University Water Polo Club on Facebook or exeteruniwaterpolo on Instagram.