Ulster Canoe Polo sets sights on more growth after European Championships progress
Following their impressive performance at the European Canoe Polo Championships in Belfast last weekend, the Ulster Canoe Club is seeking to grow its squad to boost the team's competitive chances in the future.
Italian clubs took the top podium spot in both the men and the women's events at last weekend's European Canoe Polo Championships. In the men's competition, first place went to ASD Pro Scogli Chiavari (Italy) with Avranches (France) and KSVH Berlin (Germany), placing second and third, respectively. In the women's event, Polisportiva Canottieri Catania (Italy) claimed first, with Avranches (France), and A.D. Pinatar (Spain) claiming second and third places respectively.
The Ulster squad placed 13th out of 27 teams from across Europe, who travelled to compete at the high-profile event at Belfast's Let's Go Hydro resort. This represents a significant improvement following a 15th place finish in 2021 and 17th place in 2020. The team is now focused on recruiting new talent, working towards a top 10 finish in Spain next year.
Local athletes competing for Ulster are developed by the Belfast Kayak Academy. Founded by Let's Go Hydro CEO, Pete Boyle, BKA supports young Canoe Polo players, with 10 athletes currently playing internationally. It's hoped a new recruitment drive could at least double the number of local athletes in the squad.
Boyle said: "The team put in a solid performance against Europe's top teams, and as the youngest squad in the competition this was no mean feat. We are seeking to open up the sport to more young people, to grow our community of young canoe polo athletes and bolster Ulster's future chances for sporting success."
The Belfast Kayak Academy trains at Let's Go Hydro resort in Carryduff and is currently recruiting 10-16-year-olds to try out. To find out more, email, firstname.lastname@example.org