Trust Helps RAF Water Polo Team Make a Splash in the US
Published: 06 Jan 2017
Their most recent US visit will go down in history after the RAF Water Polo team achieved the first, and second, ever win on American soil for the RAF sport.
The overseas trip, from November 11-19, allowed 11 service people to experience the high-standard of water polo played in the US, developing their skills and consistency. With the help of a £2,200 grant, provided by the RAF Charitable Trust, the team were able to fund the nine-day visit.
The team began their tour in Washington D.C. where they visited landmarks, including the White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials, before kicking off their first fixture against the US Naval Academy.
The game was strongly contested with strong performances from the RAF team, however they were narrowly defeated with an end result of 11-9. Whilst disappointed not to win, the RAF team took solace in keeping the scoreline so close against a team with significantly more players.
The team went on to take their first victory against South-Eastern Virginia team, the Hampton Roads. The game, finishing 21-7, was recorded as the first ever triumph for RAF Water Polo in the US.
The third and final game of the visit, against the University of Virginia, put the team's fitness to the test. Despite their numerical disadvantage, the RAF team produced a close fought battle against youthful opposition, with the RAF prevailing 10-2.
Team captain Cpl Andy Huckle said: "The tour was a resounding success thanks to the support of the hosting teams, our organisers, and our sponsors - the RAF Central Fund and the RAF Charitable Trust.
"As well as playing against some incredible teams, we conducted various visits. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Arlington National Cemetery and a trip to USAF AFB Langley to see the F-22 Raptor were all highlights for the whole team.
"The entire visit went without a hitch, providing the team with more game opportunities and strengthening our relationship with the US. Not only that, the visit has already encouraged interest from more people to join. So, despite being utterly exhausted, we are over the moon to have had such an excellent trip, including our first ever victories on US soil!"