SwimMark Club

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Water polo membership is included free of charge for all active swimming members

Since launching our junior water polo programme in 2005, over 100 players; both boys and girls have gone through our programme; all of whom have tasted competition and most of whom are still playing either at Seagulls or at University or at Senior clubs across the region.

Our approach is best described by a simple equation: Kids + Water + Ball = Fun!!!

All players get the opportunity to train as a competitive water polo squads. Seagulls teams have been Dorset League champions on many occasions, with players picked for County, Regional and GB Talent Squads.

Seagulls outline water polo structure is loosely based on particular age groups to bring it in line with the Swim England’s Long Term Athletic Development framework for water polo. In general, the plan is fluid and players will normally advance through the scheme by ability.

Generally, girls and boys of all age groups will normally train together. This has the advantage of allowing the younger players to be mentored by the older. This enhances the skill acquisition of the younger players.

At the early stages, concentration is on the player rather than on team progress and emphasis is therefore more on participation, having fun in the water and playing simple games. However, we also focus on the equipment, the basic techniques and the essential ball skills with ‘fun’ drills to maintain the interest of the players.

As players get older and progress we move to more advanced personal skills training and introduce team based skills and tactics to equip them to play at the top of their ability.


Novice (typically 9-11 years)

This squad is open to younger club members, preferably 8+ years old who are strong swimmers, but ultimately by agreement with the Club’s water polo coach.

The training sessions introduce the basic rules with an emphasis on core water polo skills and fitness. During this stage, players are progressively moved on to more advanced skills as they:

  • Are at home in deeper water.

  • Are able to swim confidently with the ball.

  • Can perform egg beater leg kick.

  • Gain some basic ball handling skills.

This squad gives players their first taste of competitive mini polo in local leagues.


Academy (typically 11-14 years)

This stage concentrates not only on player development but also on team development; what it means to work as part of a team and being a team member. Training sessions cover the full range of skills and rules and introduces team tactics strategies.

This squad competes actively in local leagues and regional tournaments. It opens entry to Dorset County Squads, the Regional Training Centre and the National Academy.


Junior (14-18 years)

This squad is open to club members by selection of the club water polo coach. Members are expected to continue swimming with the club in structured swim sessions and be available for all matches as selected by the coach.

Training sessions focus on positional play, team tactics and strategies.

This squad competes in local leagues, regional tournaments and is the pathway for players into senior water polo either locally or at university.

Squad Fees

All squad fees can be found on our Membership Fees page.

Squad Training Calendar

In addition to swim & water polo training on Sunday and land training on Wednesday, water polo members can also swim one other session per week for cardio fitness.  Our coaches will advise on the best session for you top attend based on age and swimming ability.

Click here to see when and where we swim.

Last modified 24 June 2021.