Lancaster’s Olympic water polo stars

The Lancaster water polo players selected to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. From left, Alex Parsonage, Glen Robinson, Alex Rutlidge, Beckie Kershaw and Ciaran James.
The Lancaster water polo players selected to represent Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. From left, Alex Parsonage, Glen Robinson, Alex Rutlidge, Beckie Kershaw and Ciaran James.
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FIVE Lancaster water polo players have been selected to be part of Team GB at the London 2012 games.

Lancaster City Amateur Swimming and Water Polo club members Ciaran James, Glen Robinson, Alex Parsonage, Alex Rutlidge and Beckie Kershaw have been chosen to be part of the once in a lifetime home Olympics.

Rutlidge, 23, from Lancaster, said: “It’s not sunk in yet. I’m so happy that all the training has paid off.

“I’m looking forward to getting to the village and playing in the Olympic pool. We have a really good chance and will have really competitive games – let’s hope for the best.”

Former Heysham High School pupil Kershaw, 21, said: “I’m really excited and can’t wait to play in the Olympic pool in front of a home crowd.

“Me and my mum were just screaming for a while when we found out, we couldn’t quite believe it.”

Kendal-based Robinson, 23, said: “I feel honoured to be a part of the men’s Olympic water polo team. All the hard work over the past five years has finally paid off and now I can fully concentrate on my performance.

“My mum started crying (when she found out) and gave me a huge hug and my dad was sat there smiling before congratulating me. I think it was a great relief for all of us.”

The GB men, including Jones, Robinson and Parsonage, are currently in the midst of a mini tournament in Dublin against Olympic champions Hungary, European silver medallists Montenegro and World championship bronze medallists Croatia as well as Romania.

They arrive at the Olympic park on July 24.

The GB women will go to their base in Hungary on Thursday, July 12 and will arrive at the Olympic Park on the day of the opening ceremony, July 27.

The club also has several members going to the Olympics as volunteers including club captain Zak Sly, who will lead a team of ball retrievers and team manger Duncan Holmes and vice chairman Mike Hesketh, who will be working as water polo table officials.

Speaking about the men selected, Holmes said: “What a great achievement for the three lads and the club.

“They have worked so hard over the past four years and it has paid off and we wish them the best of luck at the games”

On the women, Hesketh said: “The girls water polo has gone from strength to strength and it’s a great pleasure to have two Lancaster players representing the country in this once in a life time opportunity.”