Mini-Polo is a junior version of water polo played by those in school Years 5 and 6. The competition comprised of a group stage followed by semi-finals and final. For the very first time, in any version of the age group game of water polo, Kingston had a team. They were: Iris Brown, Tilly Crew, Mia Young, Elizabeth Fenwick, Luca Zanini, Thomas Austin, Lewis Goff, Oskar Platou, Harry Pritchard and Lucas Kenyon-Reyero.
The team was drawn in a group with Islington – last year’s winners; Wandsworth – last year’s semi-finalists; and Tower Hamlets. Kingston were the only team present for whom this competition represented the first ever time playing.
In our first game against Islington we raced into a 3-1 lead, thanks to a lightning quick hat-trick from Oskar Platou. However Islingtons experience paid dividends as they pegged us back to win 5-3.
In the second game against Tower Hamlets our players managed to take a leaf from Islington’s playbook to launch their own come back, this time winning 5-3. Goals were scored by Oskar Platou (4) and Tilly Crew (1)
And so to our last game against Wandsworth, who had already won their first two games, and along with Islington had already qualified as the top two teams in the group. Wandsworth’s experience told as we found ourselves behind 8-2 early in the second half. But not willing to go down without a fight our team played some brilliant passages of pass and control polo to fight back to 8-7 behind, with the teams goals coming from Lewis Goff (1), Thomas Austin (1) and Oskar Platou (5). Unfortunately, despite the stirring fight back, we ran out of time and the final whistle came, much to the relief of the Wandsworth players and coaches.
Out of the 9 boroughs involved Kingston finished in 5th place overall, having managed to score 15 goals and be involved in the highest scoring game of the tournament (against Wandsworth). The tournament was won by Havering who beat Haringey 7-2 in the final.
A massive thanks to our coaches Tim Goff and Steve Luff (members of the clubs senior men’s water polo team), and a special thanks to Ian Kenyon who stepped into the breach on the day to manage the retrieval of equipment and pitch markings throughout the tournament. Lastly, thank you to all the parents who were present lending their vocal, positive support to the team. They did their borough proud!
Attention now turns to the rest of the aquatic sports at this year’s London Youth Games – with swimming, mini-swimming and senior age group water polo competitions all scheduled to take place in June and July.
Kingston Royals SC will again be managing the above aquatic sports and all those interested in representing the borough should go to the following website to register: