How 1610 and the FANS scheme helps rising Waterpolo star Poppy prepare for Australian challenge.

Posted: 7th Dec 2018

Category: Health & Fitness


Australians are well known for their success in water sports but a rising star in the world of Waterpolo from Dorset is preparing hard to defend England against the might of the Aussie Waterpolo squad.

16-year-old Poppy Elliman from Dorchester will be playing in goal for the England u18 water polo team against Australia in London this month. (Weekend  15-16 December).

Poppy is a member of Dorchester Sports Centre under the FANS scheme (Free Access to Sports Facilities for National Sports People), where she is training hard at the gym and in the pool in preparation for the match.  She was first introduced to Waterpolo in 2012 at the centre which boasts a very successful social Waterpolo club. Poppy quickly progressed and soon excelled at the sport moving to Exeter Waterpolo club to enable her to play at a competitive level in 2014.  She was selected to attend the National Waterpolo Academy in 2016 and moved to her current club, Bristol in 2017.  With Bristol she plays local ladies and junior leagues as well as in the ladies British Waterpolo League Division Two.  The outing against Australia  this month will be Poppy’s second England cap as she was a member of the bronze medal England U17 team at the EU Nations Cup in Czech Republic earlier this year.

Playing at this elite level is a very large commitment; Poppy travels to Bristol two or three times a week to attend club training as well as monthly weekend trips to Manchester for GB squad training camps.  Being part of the FANS scheme has enabled Poppy to meet the increased gym, land and swim training expected of a GB athlete closer to home negating the need for yet more travel.

Poppy’s mum Maggi says that the FANS scheme membership and support from 1610 has helped Poppy enormously; ‘Being able to train locally for free at the Dorchester Sports Centre gym has made a tremendous difference as Poppy can follow a designated training programme provided by her coach, supported by the gym staff at 1610.’

Waterpolo is not a lottery funded sport and players are self-funded up to and including GB level.  We are extremely grateful for any support and especially to 1610 not only for their support but also for introducing Poppy to her sport.


For more information on the FANS scheme please contact Eleanor Smith at 1610 email    Tel 03 300 581610