Sussex water polo club set to make historic tournament debut

Drenched Mini Water Polo will make history at the HaBaWaBa International in June. Picture courtesy of Sara Pirks
Drenched Mini Water Polo will make history at the HaBaWaBa International in June. Picture courtesy of Sara Pirks

Drenched Mini Water Polo, based in Sussex, is ready to make history.

Their under 11s are set to be the first team from the UK to participate in the world’s largest water polo tournament for children, the HaBaWaBa International.

Their coach, Matthew White said: “HaBaWaBa International is a unique event that will play host to over 100 teams from all over the world.

“We are hoping to have a lot of fun learning, making new friends and testing ourselves against teams from some of the world’s best water polo nations.”

Drenched was founded in 2016 and has been focussing on growing water polo in Sussex amongst children aged seven and up.

Many of the players have come from local swim schools and clubs, including Lancing Penguins, Billingshurst, Steyning, Worthing Swimming Club and Littlehampton Swimming Club.

White added: “Incentives like HaBaWaBa are key to helping us inspire young players to spend more time in the pool and accelerate their progress.

“Before last summer, the group was playing one hour a week, but since September this has increased to between five and seven hours a week.

“Their improvement, in such a small timeframe, has impressed everyone.”

The tournament is held annually in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. In 2020 it will run from June 21 to June 28 and last year over 3,000 people watched the final.

The Drenched squad is formed of 15 children and are coached by White and Mihaela Nicolescu.

Drenched is currently recruiting for children interested in getting involved in future HaBaWaBa events and also regular mini water polo sessions across Sussex.

Please see below for details of when taster sessions will take place.

Upcoming taster sessions:

Monday January 27 at 6.30pm at Windlesham House School - free HaBaWaBa trial

Saturday February 8 at 4pm at Hurstpierpoint College - free taster session, all abilities, ages seven to 11

For taster sessions at other locations, please contact matt@drenchedschool.co.uk