Exeter Ladies Waterpolo team will represent the city on a national stage this weekend, as they begin their first season in the National Waterpolo league.
And local house building firm Taylor Wimpey and Active Devon have given the team a big helping hand, with sponsorship donations totalling £800 (£500 from Taylor Wimpy, £300 from Active Devon) towards the league fees and expenses.
The team successfully won through the pre-season play offs, beating off tough competition from Manchester Comets, Watford, Cheltenham, Nova Centurion and Sunderland to reach the third division of the League, and will head to Northampton this weekend to play Southampton, London Penguins and Watford.
Team captain Jenny Herring said: “We’re really excited about playing our first national league this year, and are training hard.
“This is the first time in the history of the club that the ladies have made it to this national platform, and we have a strong team of determined players, so we’re hopeful that we’ll do well in our first year.
“We are so grateful to Taylor Wimpy and Active Devon for their generous sponsorship. Many of us are students and so we simply couldn’t afford the cost of the fees and other expenses. This sponsorship has enabled us to take part, and we also want to say a huge thanks to Kamz our coach and to all the volunteers who support the club and team.”
Richard Harrison, Land and Planning Director at Taylor Wimpey Exeter said: “We’re really proud to have sponsored Exeter Ladies’ Waterpolo team with £500 towards their first season in the national league. We’re aware that this is a first for the team to be recognised at this level, and it is a real honour to be able to support them as they go from strength to strength. We wish the team the very best of luck in training and for all future tournaments.”
The sport’s governing body also received good news this week when it was placed back on the National Curriculum for PE, bringing it back into the mainstream.
Suzie Tomlinson, team manager said: “We hope that our profile in the national league will encourage and inspire other local girls to take part in the sport. It’s a fantastic team sport which is great for self-confidence and positive mental health as well as strength and fitness.”
This weekend’s team consists of: Nina Rickards, Ella Louise Jones, Jai Powell, Millie Raymond, Madeleine Crow, Jasmine Coleman, Jess Garrad, Zandi Nduvane, Lucy Chard-Maple, Izzy Ewen, Jenny Herring and Nyah Tomlinson.
T-shirts kindly supplied by Wyvern Water Polo.