OUWPC is just over half way through Michaelmas, which means we've seen the start of a new academic year and competitive season of water polo. Providing competitive water polo as well as the opportunity for beginners to learn the game has been an especially big part of the club in recent years, with M2s BUCS, and M2 and W2 Varsity matches all being additions within the last decade. As it is often ranked among the more difficult sports to play, I am all too aware of the steep learning curve and inherent difficulty in recruitment efforts. The game begins with treading water. Then of course we ask them to continue treading water while protecting a ball from someone trying to drown them. Yet it is, in my unbiased opinion, one of the best sports to learn at any level; it's a fun version of swimming that teaches water safety and throwing skills.
We are a historic and vibrant club, and our calendar events are an extension of the camaraderie of the teams who play together throughout the year. This includes our extensive alumni network who are and always will be welcome to train, socialise, and compete in the alumni Varsity match with us. We've just had our Freshers' curry and Christmas dinner, and look forward to Varsity and the Old Members' dinner (details TBD).
The aim of this newsletter is simply to foster connectedness and provide club updates to the OUWPC community outside of any one social platform. I think it's reasonable to expect just one or two emails of this kind a year to open and/or close our seasons. Though I do note that the alumni register is and should be separate from any mailing list, so unsubscribing and resubscribing should always be easy.
At any rate, whatever water polo means or meant to you, I hope it's a fulfilling year and please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or the committee for any reason!
Vincent B Luscombe
OUWPC President 2022-23
OUWPC is extremely lucky to have the committee it does this year, all of whom are volunteering significant amounts of time to see the club grow in 2022.
My name is Colin Gasper and I have the pleasure of coaching the men's water polo team this season. They are off to a great start, finishing the first leg of their season with a record of 5-1 [now 6-1] and are looking to finish top 2 in the Men's Premier division with Blues accolades all around. We remain ambitious looking ahead to the rest of the season, setting our sights on snapping Bristol's 3-year winning streak at Iffley Road next Wednesday as well as a deep run into the Men's National Trophy. With a clear roadmap in place for this season, I am beginning to set my sights further abroad and am taking the first steps to start recruiting NCAA graduates to continue their playing careers while obtaining a post-graduate degree. By doing so, our depth chart will grow even stronger as we add new talent in addition to establishing a place for Oxford Water Polo Club in the international water polo community. We can further progress this branding effort by setting our sights on the US for our next tour destination with the intention of having the first exhibition matches between Oxford University and the Ivy League schools.
Women's Coach Kyle Durr
We're also happy to welcome Kyle, returning women's coach. Last year the team had an unprecedented run leading to a promotion from Tier 1 to the Prem South (top) division! We're very excited to see this team pick up on last years' success as they make this division home for many years to come.
Men's VC Jack is driving a stash sale from two suppliers: Water polo market place and redbird. We buy these in bulk and will then ship them on to you by mail, at shipping rates TBD on a case-by-case basis. We're hoping to meet minimum order amounts for our current team, so any orders will be doing us a favour! The form will close at 12:00 noon (GMT) on Friday, November 25.
Unfortunately it looks like we're heading into an expensive year for the club. Our expenditures are likely to be unmet by our primary income from memberships and basic support from sportsfed. The expected rises primarily come from coaching and affiliation fees, transport, and the away Varsity. We have had some success with small grant applications, and we have made some larger 3rd party grant applications, but we are yet to earmark anything for our away Varsity. We will be sure that any funds raised will benefit the players of the club as equitably and efficiently as possible.
This year we're hoping to pull off 5 wins at the away Varsity (very rare), the 5th being, of course, the alumni match - a bit of a wildcard. As it draws closer I would encourage any alumni to come and spend a few trainings with us at the pool, get your eye in, and we can even raise the pool depth to imitate the other place's sub-standard facility.
Cuppers 2022 - Exeter wins
It was a closely fought final, but a half-time rule change may have been the tide-turner that Exeter needed.