January 24, 2020, by Charlotte Gauja
The Headliner Water Polo | Meet the team
Next Wednesday 29th January, the University of Nottingham Women’s Water Polo 1st Team will kick-off their 2020 BUCS fixture with a Headliner fixture.
Our girls will aim to continue their unbeaten streak in BUCS Tier 1 division as they face University of Warwick in the David Ross Sports Village Swimming Pool at 2.45pm. Tickets are still available so register now, as we are expecting another sell-out event.
We caught up with three athletes who will be part of the line-up on Wednesday’s Headliner. All three come from completely different water polo backgrounds which showcases the inclusive, welcoming community that the club strives for.
The Headliner captain, Abigail Turner, started playing water polo at school in year 7 with the interested to try something new as it looked a bit different to the standard school sports. Abigail’s University choice was made by the strength of the Water Polo programme. She now has international senior caps for Scotland.
Where do you get your motivation from?
“I always want to do well, I have a really good team, and we are a really close knit team, if I know the girls are training I will want to go to spend time with them.”
Commenting on the team,
“Our team has a common goal: to enjoy the sport but also perform to the top level as we all believe we deserve a place in the premier league.”
How is the team feeling ahead of the Headliner fixture?
“This is the first fixture this year where there is a level of pressure surrounding it, it’s a great time to test us before a potential play-off later this season.
We need to go into this game relaxed, but not too relaxed. We need to take the fact that we are a good team into the game but also not be too complacent because we don’t want to give points away by easy mistakes. We don’t need to try anything fancy just stick to what we know.”
Commenting on her first senior cap for Scotland,
“When I got my first senior water polo Scotland cap, I felt like all my hard work had finally paid off. It was an honour to be young and playing against more experienced players, I learnt a lot.”
Looking forward to her Water Polo career, Abigail has selected her study aboard year next year by what water polo teams she can join to return back to the UK and continue her career at the highest level.
Mia Springer, started her water polo journey as a first year after speaking to the president at Welcome Fair. After being convinced to try a taster session she was fixed as the sport was so different to anything she has done before. Two weeks later she was representing the #GreenandGold playing in her first BUCS fixture. Due to her commitment to the sport and development, Mia is representing in her debut season on the first team.
Commenting on the sport,
“Water Polo is a sport you can really get your teeth into, it’s fun and fast paced. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I’ve really fallen in love with it.”
Commenting on the team,
“We are such a tight team, we are more than just team mates, and we are best friends, not just in the pool but also outside. This is my first season on the 1st team and it’s a privilege to train with such talented girls. I’ve learnt so much playing with them, we are a real team.”
“No matter how anyone plays we are always the team who come out with the biggest smiles.”
Reflecting on your experience starting a new sport at University, what advice would you give to a 1st year?
“Just do it and don’t be worried about what other people think! Go and play the sport you want to play, your teammates will always take you for who you are because you’ll have that sport in common.”
US scholar, Nichol Feldtz has remained in #GreenandGold after joining Nottingham all the way from Siena College, NY. She started playing water polo at the age of 14 after suffering an ankle injury on the basketball court. She’d played a lot of sports and the only one left to try was water polo. It worked well considering her injury, being in the water had lower impact but it was still aggressive and that was it- 10 years later here she is!
What motivates you to train?
“The community helps me train, you can just go train and forget your stresses. Once you are in the pool, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had finals or even the worst day of your life once you go in the pool everything is gone. You can just enjoy life for an hour and a half. Training is one of the things I look forward to in the day.”
Commenting on the differences between UK and US Water Polo,
“Out here it’s a little less aggressive but more skill based. In the UK people do more trick shots and are maybe more tactical but in the states we are a more aggressive team who work on overpowering the opposition instead.”
“My year in Nottingham has given me a different view on how to play water polo and I am now applying for coaching jobs when I got back to the US.”
How does it feel to play for the Nottingham #GreeandGold?
“The team is great and I’ve enjoyed the quality of coaching. For 3 years I thought I was done with water polo and didn’t think I was going to play anymore after but since Sam Joyce, Head Coach, reached out to me I thought I’d give it a go and I wasn’t expecting to fall back in love with water polo.”
Providing one piece of advice for incoming students,
“Jump in, it’s never easy to start a new sport- I was scared to start water polo. You have to really throw yourself in the sport and community, a university team is one of the best you will ever get- It’s a community and a friendship group that’s once in a lifetime.”
The Headliner is brought to you from University of Nottingham Sport in partnership with Red Bull and promises to be an extra special match day experience- not to be missed! Swim off will be at 2.45pm with the doors opening at 2.15pm.
The event is FREE and there will be a collection for CBTRC on the day so please bring change.
Entertainment will be provided by the UoN Synchronised Swimming team.
We are expecting a capacity event, please register for your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
The University of Nottingham Water Polo team are passionate about their sport and encourage people to join from any level. If you would like to know more about the club please visit: https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/sports/sport/Waterpolo/