With the Olympics ‘just around the corner’, Irish water polo fans have a rare treat in store in July.
The Irish Water Polo Association recently confirmed they will host a pre-Olympic men’s water polo tournament in Dublin. The event will take place from July 5th to 8th at the National Aquatic Centre, and will host the top four teams in the world. Current Olympic champions Hungary will take part, as will current European champions Serbia, who won at the recent European Championships in the Netherlands. The countries participating are Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia.
Waterpolo is the main sport and passion in a number of these countries, and with this being the last chance for the teams to meet before London, as well as London being a sell-out, it is expected that the tournament will attract significant travelling support, as well as teams, delegates and referees. It is also a positive news-story for Ireland, as it generates further pre-Olympic business for this country.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, who is also Chairman of the London 2012 Coordinating Committee, congratulated the Irish Water Polo Association in attracting such high-calibre Olympic teams for this tournament.
“This is another example of Ireland benefiting directly from the Olympics and adds to the number of Olympic athletes from 13 countries who have already decided to train in Ireland ahead of the London Games. This promises to be an exciting event,” Minister Ring said.
Swim Ireland is the governing body for the Irish Water Polo Association (IWPA), and is providing financial and administrative support to the event, while the event itself is the brainchild of the IWPA administrative team. Speaking at the launch Bobby Nolan of the IWPA said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this event, which has been a while in the planning. We hosted GB and Hungary last year in a test event, which was a sell-out, and a lead-up to this year.
It is incredible to have all these Olympians, these world champions, at the peak of their sport, in Dublin for four days, and we are proud to have made it happen”.
Tickets for the event are available from the event website – www.dublinwaterpolo2012.com. Ticket prices range from €4.50 for a child’s ticket, to €90 for a 4 day pass, with €25 for a day pass.
Matches taking place daily in the early evening, with the addition of a morning session on Friday 6th.