Two of our students have been selected for the Great Britain water polo team!
Article by Craig Manning, Wirral Globe
Two students from The Mosslands School in Wallasey have been selected for the Great Britain water polo team.
Daniel Peek, 15, and Stephen Williams, 14, have been selected in two age brackets for the squad and hope to play in the European Junior Championships in September.
They are also members of Wallasey, Warrington and City of Manchester water polo clubs as well as training with the Great Britain squad at camps in Cardiff and Cranwell in Lincolnshire.
Daniel has been playing for a few years while Stephen only took up the sport just over a year ago.
Daniel attended a week-long training camp with the GB team in Hungary last August.
He said: "The training and the games are extremely hard work and very tiring. I train three or four nights a week and then go to training camps at weekends.
"The camps are intense and we can be in the water for up to six hours. There's also land based training such as running, press ups and sit ups.
"You need a lot of core strength and strong legs to play water polo, as to shoot and block you have to kick and lift yourself out of the water – it needs a lot of stamina.
"It is also a very technical sport so you have to have good mental strength, hand-eye co-ordination and decision-making skills."
Daniel has been selected to compete in a tournament in Hungary in February, while Stephen is hoping for a call up after being selected on the squad’s reserve list.
Stephen impressed selectors at regional training camps after progressing through the ranks at a local level.
He said: "I got into water polo because my dad used to play too. When I first started training I tried out as a goalkeeper and found that I had a lot of the skills needed.
You've got to have very strong legs to jump when defending, and it helps to be tall and be able to fill the goal with your frame and to have long arms to block shots.
"I really want to push on and get into the starting team now, especially as the European Junior Championships are coming up at the end of the summer.
"Ideally I'll work hard and get to senior level, but there are lots of very good goalies around so it's going to be tough.
"For now I'm just really enjoying training and playing with my clubs and with Daniel for Great Britain."
Mosslands Headteacher Mark Rodaway said: "We're very proud of both the boys and wish them the best of luck with the GB team.
"The school and staff will do all we can to help Daniel and Stephen aim for the stars, in both their sport and academics.
"We've got a very strong heritage for sporting success with teams winning trophies in football and rugby, while we have also recently launched a fencing club."