It's time for Octopushy

SWIMMING: Ipswich's expanding Octopush Club is on the search for young wannabe champions.The club, which has been running from its Crown Pools base for just over a year, is planning to stage a number of short summertime courses throughout the coming weeks.

SWIMMING

IPSWICH'S expanding Octopush Club is on the search for young wannabe champions.

The club, which has been running from its Crown Pools base for just over a year, is planning to stage a number of short summertime courses throughout the coming weeks.

It hopes to attract a number of keen Suffolk youngsters – and potentially to start a young Octopush division within the county.

Club treasurer Charlie Simms is eager to see more children take part in the increasingly popular water sport.

"I'm really keen to encourage people of all ages into the sport and I genuinely believe that there must be a lot of Suffolk youngsters who would benefit from the opportunity to take part in taster courses," said Charlie.

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"We've been contacting schools in the hope that their youngsters will sign up for three or six week courses to be held throughout the summer holiday.

"In addition, if they have their own pool facility, we'd be keen to take sessions of Octopush to them and work within their usual pool-time timetable."

He added: "Predominantly, our club has had a higher intake of men and of adults.

"Over the next year we want to change that so there are more women and more youngsters benefiting from the thrill of Octopush."

Octopush – or 'underwater hockey' – has developed a greater following around the UK in recent years.

Started as a sport back in the 1950s, it had remained very short on credibility until more and more clubs began to offer the pursuit in British pools.

Ipswich now has a very successful women's team, with several of its members having previously competed for Great Britain in the tough European Championships.

Charlie hopes that the junior sessions could now prove the perfect launching pad for more youngsters to seek that same competitive status.

"I visited the national youth championship for Octopush in Manchester last year, and the standard and atmosphere were terrific," he commented.

"I want Suffolk children to be experiencing that too. I'm sure that we could have a really strong team on our hands if we had the pool time and the facilities to nurture young enthusiasm."

As part of that intention, Charlie is busy trying to gain more training time at Ipswich's Crown Pools so that he could offer a separate regular session for youngsters.

"First and foremost, I'm desperately trying to get an extra hour in the water, over and above our regular Monday session.

"Hopefully, if we can confirm that extra time we will have the capability to turn out a really strong youth side."

For more information about the summer taster courses, or about getting involved with the club as an adult or child, call Charlie Simms on Ipswich 212563.

Weblink:

www.britishoctopush.org

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