9TH JULY 1970

A meeting was held at the Apollo Hotel for all people interested in water polo, to discuss the future of the sport in the Island.

Among over 40 enthusiasts present were Deputy John Ellis, a man vitally interested in the future of the sport in the Island, John Killmister, Tommy Blake and Dennis Geary. Also present were members of the States Police, Beeches Old Boys, and Jersey Swimming Club. The meeting was opened by Peter Pitcher, who chaired the ensuing discussion.

Outlining the reasons for calling the meeting, Peter Pitcher pointed out that water polo, like soccer, hockey and rugby, was a social sport and that, under the present arrangements were by the Jersey Swimming Club organised water polo as an extra to swimming, the social side was not perhaps able, he was of the opinion, to receive the emphasis it needed. This he felt was because of the age difference between swimmers and water polo players. He was full of admiration, as he felt all present were, for the work done by the Jersey Swimming Club in instruction given to young people and the organisation of competitive swimming at all levels. But he felt that the obvious gap between the interest of swimmers and water polo players was widening. In view of the fact that all year round swimming facilities were shortly to become available in the Island, it was felt that the time was now ripe for the formation of a new water polo section. 

There were further general discussion on aims and the availability of facilities and ways and means of raising money, but as the feeling appeared to be for action, a proposal that an association be formed was put to the meeting, seconded and carried unanimously.


27TH JULY 1970

An election meeting was held at the Apollo Hotel to appoint officers for the Jersey Water Polo Association ("JWPA"). It was opened by temporary chairman Peter Pitcher, who reacquainted those present with the principles of the new association. There were some general discussions on some minor changes to the constitution. The meeting then went on to elect officers of the club, and the following were returned.

President - John Killmister, Vice-Presidents - Thomas Blake & Peter Pitcher, Secretary - John Hanley, Treasurer - Dennis Geary, Assistant Secretary / Treasurer - Alan Benest, Junior Committee Member - Ian Taylor, Chairman Social Committee - John Vickers, Chairman Selection Committee - Percy Gosling.




The Jersey Water Polo Association ("JWPA") held a successful first social function at the Apollo Hotel when the draw was made for a Ford Escort, the star prize of their fund raising raffle. The 20 consolation prises included a cocktail cabinet and a radiogram. The draw was made jointly by Miss Channel Television, Miss Judy Roberts, and Mrs. F. de L. Bois, and as a result, the association's funds have been boosted by over £500.



Although water polo has been played between the two Islands for 50 years or more, this is the first occasion it has been played in an indoor heated pool, and the first time the newly formed Jersey Water Polo Association ("JWPA") has played against its Guernsey counterpart.

At a time when a pint of Mary Ann cost 11 pence, the inaugural Embassy Trophy match between JWPA and Guernsey Water Polo Association ("GWPA") turned out to be a one-sided affair, Jersey winning by 15 goals to three. The match was played before a near-capacity crowd at Fort Regent Pool. 

Jersey skipper John Liron opened the scoring with a searing shot after only 37 seconds and went on to net a further five goals. John Hanley slung in four, Jack Cornish got three, and Lance Hull and Micky Whiteham one each. Guernsey goals came from Daryl Tippet, who converted two penalties, and Martin Petit. The scores at the end of each quarter were 2-0, 5-2, 9-2 and 15-3.

The fast moving water polo was followed by three supporting events. Pat Buxton game a demonstration of synchro swimming, John Fage went through a series of springboard dives and the evening ended on a light note with a display of comedic diving by members of JWPA.



On Saturday, November 27, 37 members of the Jersey Water Polo Association ("JWPA") left Jersey Airport for Dinard on their way to play two matches in France. The Cercle Paul Bert of Rennes, Dinard, and Comberg had invited a team from JWPA on an all expenses paid trip to Rennes and Comberg.

In the evening a gala had been organised by the Lions Club of Rennes in which a match between CPB and the JWPA was the highlight. Other events had been organised to make a complete programme and in the magnificent setting of the Olympic pool of Brittany, just outside of Rennes an audience of over 800, all in evening dress, thoroughly enjoyed the evening's entertainment.

The sheer size of this Olympic pool was daunting to the Jersey players but having warmed up in the small 25 metre training pool they began to feel more at home.  The first part of the programme was a swimming demonstration staged by CPB followed by comic diving display led by Ben White who conducted Gerald Lozach, Tony Freeman, Steven Skinner and John Woodward in a display which at times frightened the audience and the Jersey party who wanted Tony Freeman in one piece for the gam. But this also proved extremely amusing and culminated in Ben White removing most of the decorations from the ten metre diving stage in a slightly miscalculated dive

The audience was then treated to some truly superb synchro swimming from the Ballets de Paris - Velizy,  champions of France, a group of young girls who performed as one and who richly deserved the thunderous applause of the audience.

This was followed by the match which proved to be a real cliff-hanger and bought a really enthusiastic response from the audience. The scoring was opened by Jersey through John Hanley who scored from a back flip. Rennes soon equalised and in an extremely fast swimming first quarter Jersey showed superior tactics and kept the French team pinned in their own half. 

With three minutes to go the score was 5-5 and in an incredible ending the Jersey side benefiting from their intensive training, outswam the French and only through sheer bad luck failed to net more goals. The final whistle saved Rennes and the Jersey team were well satisfied with an away draw.



17TH JUNE 1972