Manchester Wildcatz enjoyed they’re most successful international tournament to date over the weekend of the 6-7 July at the Joy Davis Hull International Canoe Polo Challenge at the Princes Dock complex in Hull.
Our division 4 side were competitive in every game they played. However some bad luck and a few squandered chances left them with too many drawn games. They placed 5 out of 9, leaving them without the chance to play for a medal this time.
The B team, in division 3, had eyes on the top spot from the word go. Utilising some excellent attacking team play, and several fast breaks they took the game to their opponents, beating the other teams threatening to place top of the table. However some lapses in concentration, and a few defensive errors lead to points being lost. The B team placed 2nd, losing out on the top spot to goal difference. Still a fantastic result considering having never trained or played as a full team before!
The A team went one better, through a series of excellent team performances and hard work placing themselves at the top of the division 2 table after the league stage of the competition. In the semi final against Cherwell, the A team were 2 goals down by the interval, but some patient build up play together with clinical passing and shooting saw the scores levelled by the end of normal time. Not long into the first golden goal period, after prolonged attack on the Cherwell defence, Pete Hollis ran in, received a pass in the zone and smashed in the winner! On to the final!
The final was a much more controlled affair which saw Manchester Wildcatz play some of their best polo of the weekend, dictating the pace of the game throughout, finishing 2 goals to 1 winners and claiming the first place trophy as reward.
A great weekend for the whole club, our thanks to the folks at Kingston Kayak Club for organising another brilliant weekend of canoe polo.
The 2012/13 National League season has come to an end. Manchester Wildcatz have enjoyed a solid year, with all teams retaining their divisional status.
Having teams in consecutive divisions means that as our players improve, they are able to move up into higher teams to continue their personal improvement. Lining up alongside more experienced players and facing more challenging opponents will definitely help to improve any players speed, fitness and skill set.
Below are the results for each of our teams in the BCU National League system.
Manchester Wildcatz A 8th (out of 10) National Div 2 North
Manchester Wildcatz B 4th (out of 10) National Div 3 North
Manchester Wildcatz C 6th (out of 10) National Div 4 North
Manchester Wildcatz D 10th (out of 10) National Div 4 North
At the start of this year we’ll be installing a new set of floating goals and new pitch lines at Salford Quays. We’ll continue to have our permanent full size pitch, and we will be adding a new 2nd pitch that can be tidied away after each session to allow the watersports centre to use the space.
This means during our outdoor sessions we’ll have 4 floating goals, making 2 full size canoe polo pitches. So now we can have games running simultaneously and no waiting around in between. We’re hoping to invite other canoe clubs to train with us and host more and more tournaments as time goes on.
The Manchester Wildcatz Annual Open Day will also be improved vastly, allowing more people to get involved in the games and other sessions throughout the day.
Our outdoor evening sessions begin when the clocks change at Easter time, and will be from 6pm – 8pm on Wednesday evenings.
Manchester Wildcatz sent at least 2 teams to every single summer tournament this year. Many thanks to all our players who attended and to all those who provided transport for people and equipment.
B team – London International 2012 (Kier, Adam, Conner, Josh & Antony)
Summer tournaments are competitions run over 1 weekend with a thrilling final taking place on Sunday afternoon for each division. They are excellent experience for the national leagues and give teams chance to play against opponents from all over the UK and abroad. Our highlights included the B team winning the Liverpool International Class 4, a solid 4th position for the A team in Class 2 at the Welsh Open as well as plenty of hard fought games and great performances all round.
A team – London International 2012 (Alex, Tom, David, Niall, Rachel & Richard)
The final placings for our teams over this year’s summer tournaments are outlined below:
On the 28th of July, Salford Watersports Centre will be visited by the crew from Big Dog Kayaks, who are bringing down a van full of boats, along with their trade stall and food for the day. Members from Salford Canoe Club, and other local paddlers will also be in attendance.
We know many Manchester Wildcatz members are also keen river paddlers, so get yourself down to try out the Big Dog range of kayaks. Our Saturday morning training session is going ahead too (10am-1pm), so you can get a double dose of canoeing.
The annual Manchester Wildcatz Open Day marked the official start to our summer season. Despite the slow start to summer, the Salford Quays water was a barmy 13.4C and the sunshine made it feel all the warmer.
The aim of this day was to encourage new people, old and young, to try Canoe Polo. Members from Hollingworth Lake’s activity club travelled to Salford Quays to join in and showed how much youth potential there is in Greater Manchester – each and everyone of those young paddlers demonstrated some great skills on the polo pitch. A bonus for them was meeting Steve Redgrave who was doing some publicity on the same day (see Article).
Our presence on the water also attracted a couple of local Ordsall lads – Connor and Jack Lee had never paddled kayaks, but within minutes they were throwing themselves into tackles against more experienced members. We saw these two paddlers at the very next training session, so big thumbs up for local recruitment.
Some Bury Old Boys were inspired back to the polo pitch under the gentle pressure of Dave Heaton. They played a few training games with our standard Manchester players, while volunteer coaches within the club played ball with the youth attendees.
And finally, the event brought a few of the original Wildcatz players out of the woodwork. Matthew Gill threw himself right back into coaching and refereeing and was an asset to the day, and James Davis got lost in Falmouth and never made it!
Thank you to everyone who made the event a success, let’s make this summer season a strong one and win some trophies in the summer leagues!
On Sunday the 27th May, Manchester Wildcatz Canoe Polo Club holds our Annual Open Day. On the day we will have demonstration games and introductory sessions for anyone interested in giving canoe polo a go. It is a great opportunity to get out on the water for the first time and start playing canoe polo, just as the weather gets warmer, our summer training program begins and the prospect of playing summer tournaments gets nearer.
What do I need to get started?
All equipment is provided, just bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet!
No experience of canoeing necessary, our BCU registered coaches can teach you all the skills from beginner to expert.
Our base at Salford Watersports Centre has fantastic facilities & warm showers.
A small water fee of £2 for under 18′s and £3.50 for adults applies.
So meet us at Salford Watersports Centre on Salford Quays, between 11am until 2pm on Sunday 27th May 2012.
Manchester Wildcatz Canoe Polo Club has recently earned Club Mark status. This is most definitely a milestone in the clubs history and something for the entire club to be proud of. Clubmark sets standards and best practices for the running of all clubs in the UK and for our club to have reached the necessary standards is fantastic.
You can not just fill in a form and get accredited, it takes many months of gathering evidence, putting paper work and procedures in place. Its a process that requires dedication, organisation and not to mention a real passion for the sport and the club.
That makes it sound like a sub committee of 5 are required to achieve this! However most of the work has been done by just one club member and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Manchester Wildcatz Canoe Polo Club to say a big well done and thank you for all the hard work that Niall Evans has done to achieve Club Mark accreditation.
The blue Club Mark banner is now proudly on display at the top of our website.
The BCU National League season is now finished, and the results are in. This year for the first time, players from the two original clubs of Salford Wildcatz and Manchester CC, have combined as part of the integration process to create one club: Manchester Wildcatz. It has been a successful year for Manchester Wildcatz, with some great team performances to be seen across the board.
The A team maintained their Division 2 North status, due to the expansion of the league system, finishing in 8th position.
The B team put in game after game of solid performances in Division 3 North to claim 3rd position, agonisingly just one place shy of the promotion playoff position.
Likewise Manchester Wildcatz C Team had a strong season and finished 3rd in Division 4 North, just missing out on the chance to play for promotion.
Manchester Wildcatz D Team gained some valuable experience playing in the national league system for the first time in the 2011/12 season. They also recorded a win and two draws, generally playing against teams with a great deal more tournament experience. They finished in 9th position in the 10 team Division 4 North league.
Final league position for every team, and individual game scores are all available to view on the national canoe polo leagues’ League Republic site.
Two stars of the Super League took to the water at Salford Watersports Centre recently to mix canoe polo with rugby. It was all to help announce this years fundraising activities for The Steve Prescott Foundation, whose work helps the Rugby League Benevolent Fund and Christies Hospital.
The event will see Steve Prescott and Paul Sculthorpe running marathons in London and Paris, cycling from one venue to the other and crossing the English channel by kayak. The two events are held 1 week apart, making this an epic challenge to complete in such a short space of time.