Vicki Hawkins, GB water polo  ...view gallery

We did this photo shoot with the GB water polo player Vicki Hawkins as a study to see how we could capture in pictures the amazing physiques athletes have. For this we used fans, flags, double sided sticky tape, old cardboard boxes from IKEA and a bit of imagination... Who says you have to have a studio set-up and very expensive photo gear?! One of these shots was used by the Mail on Sunday (17th July edition)  ...VIEW ARTICLE

Vicki is a truly amazing person. Somehow she's managed to combine training and competing as a full-time professional GB athlete with studying for I don't know how many different qualifications. Not content with this she's now doing a law degree!

I wish both her and the GB water polo teams the very best of luck for next year.


                   
Lancaster City Water Polo Club  ...view gallery

A bit about the club from one of their players, Zak Sly:

"Lancaster City Swimming and Water Polo Club is the leading water polo club in Great Britain. With only having a small population of 135 000, Lancaster City is home to the top senior, junior and academy team in the country. The Lancaster seniors hold a handful of records including the most successful side ever in the history of the British Championships after securing a record breaking nine titles in the past eleven years. The senior side has also won the National title eleven times in the past fourteen years including a magnificent five consecutive years. In 2010 The Lancaster City Junior and Academy team were crowned the 2010 National Water Polo champions. The youth team is the 2010 National Water Polo champions’ runner up. The top team in the country also provides Mini Water Polo for those children who want to have fun and learn about water polo."

Good luck to them and I hope they continue to go from strength to strength.
                 
City of Sheffield Mini Water Polo Club  ...view gallery

Water polo deserves more attention and recognition than it gets in this country, and you'll see in these photos just how much fun the kids (and coaches!) have.  The sport reaches out to children across the UK of all ages and ability - giving them action, teamwork, competition, friendship and fun!  Most of all Water Polo gives children in this country somewhere to go if they want to do build on what they've learnt in swimming classes or in clubs.  Every year we spend millions trying to get children into swimming and teaching them how to do it - which is great.  But what happens next?  Not all children like the high pressure world of club swimming, preferring instead team games.

Earlier this year the sport was hit by a funding crisis and the GB men's team was all but sacrificed for the women's team in the build up to the London 2012 Olympic games - there just wasn't enough money to fund both teams.  But this funding crisis comes at a time when as a country we're trying to get our kids off the sofa and computer and into sport... hmmm...
GB Water Polo Team in Action at the LEN Women's European Nations Trophy in the presence of HRH Prince William  ...view gallery

These photos show the GB girls in action against Slovakia and the VIP guests who attended the match.  They won the match 17-5 and went on to win the championship.  Congratulations to all of them and the coaching team!

You'll see; the VIP guests arriving and meeting HRH Prince William, then the girls lining up to exchange gifts with the Slovakian team, then the match (including the half-time synchronised swimming entertainment), and finally the VIP reception afterwards. 

Present were some of the great and the good from swimming, including Dave Sparkes, Laszlo Szakadati and James Hickman.  The very lucky lady seen next to Prince William is not his latest girlfriend, but the World Class Performance Manager for water polo, Joanna Wray.
GB Women Water Polo Team Portraits   ...view gallery

Individual portraits of the GB women's squad taken over two sessions. The 'wet and wild' photos were done with a very high tech set up - a bucket of water poured over the head in the shower...!  I wanted to get a really natural pose - and not the sort of thing you see so often in sports/swimwear ads - so I grabbed them as they got out of the pool after morning training and took these photos.  The fashion look photos with the black dresses were done during the BBC 1 Sport filming day in Manchester Aquatics Centre.
GB Women Water Polo Team in Action   ...view gallery

The GB women in action at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.  Thanks to Joanna Wray from British Water Polo for helping me out by holding the camera flashes on the poolside (and getting very wet in the process!).
GB Men Water Polo Team Portraits   ...view gallery

Here are the photos from the BBC photo shoot I did in April in the Manchester Aquatics Centre. I sprayed the polo balls we used silver to try and get a different effect (and polo balls are a nightmare to photograph because they are so brightly coloured!). I think it worked well.

I wish the GB men the very best of luck and look forward to seeing them at London 2012.