Britain is set to welcome some of Europe’s strongest water polo nations when Manchester hosts the LEN Women’s European Nations Trophy this summer.
Eight countries will compete at the Manchester Aquatics Centre for the Trophy from 7th to 12th July. Competing nations are: Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland and Ukraine.
UK Sport has worked as a partner with British Swimming in staging the competition for the second time after hosting the Men’s European Nations Trophy in 2007.
This year, UK Sport is providing funding support of £95,000 from its National Lottery backed World Class Events Programme to support the competition.
The funding, alongside support from British Swimming, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Manchester City Council, will help towards continuing the legacy programme for the sport and help make this year’s event this most successful yet.
Lucy Crickmore, UK Sport’s Acting Events Consultant, said: “UK Sport is delighted to be supporting the LEN European Nations Trophy for the second time. Through our National Lottery funded World Class Events Programme we are able to invest up to £95,000 in this competition, offering a fantastic opportunity for our water polo players to test themselves against the rest of Europe, which is home to the world's greatest water polo playing nations.”
British Swimming’s Events and Sponsorship Director Katie Brazier highlights the importance of the event as the national governing body continues its preparations towards 2012.
“We’re delighted with the continued support of UK Sport for British Swimming’s World Class event programme,” said Brazier. “Hosting this event is key to supporting our performance programme aspirations of achieving the best possible Olympic result and allows our athletes to experience home advantage in the build up to 2012.
“With the support of our partners, UK Sport, NWDA and Manchester City Council, we aim to showcase water polo to its many followers as well as the general public looking to experience the Olympic sport for the first time.
“Hosting international events is a key part of our international strategy building towards the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.“
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Arts and Leisure, Manchester City Council added: “Manchester is delighted to be hosting the LEN European Women's Water Polo Trophy in July having successfully hosted the Men's Trophy in 2007.
“Manchester not only continues to be the National Centre for British Water Polo, with the GB Squad based and training at the Aquatics Centre, but has implemented extensive development opportunities throughout the City.
“With the further legacy plans associated with this event already rolling out, these are exciting times for Water Polo in Manchester.”
The NWDA is supporting the competition as part of its work to attract major events to the region, especially events linked to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the NWDA, said:
“The LEN Women’s European Nations Trophy is an exciting addition to the programme of major sporting events taking place in Manchester and the Northwest this year.
“We are delighted to help provide a platform for the British team and also look forward to welcoming competitors, officials and supporters from across Europe.”
The draw for the event will take place in Lugano, Switzerland on 30th May. For further competition and ticketing details please visit the event website at www.manchester2009.com
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS