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Playing water polo for England

An interview with Hannah Ashley

The the most of us water polo isn’t the first thing to come to mind, when we think of water sports. Hannah Ashley in Year 11 trains three times a week with Coventry water polo club and plays sport for 10 hours every week. She got into the sport by trying out something new after a swimming session one day and now plays for England.

The England 03 (players born in 2003) squad trains once a month for eight hours and are hoping to compete in the 2022 EU nations where only the best teams in Europe play. She says that it’s a lot harder than it looks but has met loads of new people through water polo. The Coventry team that Hannah plays for competes in the u18 regional league, the top division national league as well as competing in a tournament where only the top 5 teams in the country play in. 

I don’t know about you but I had no idea how a game of water polo works so Hannah explained it to me; there are seven players including a goalie as well as two referees who stand on the poolside. You can only throw and catch the ball with one hand and to score there is a goal similar to a football goal. Hannah said the most bizarre rule in her opinion, is that if you touched someone from behind they get a penalty, which involves a five metre shot at the goal.

Hannah has also been to some amazing places through water polo; she’s been to Hungary a few times on training camps, Prague for the EU club nations and recently went to Sweden for the 12 days cup, which takes place 12 days after Christmas. Hannah told me that her role model is her team captain, because of her dedication to the team. 

Written by Heather Dargie, Year 10