by Keith Nolan

It’s been a busy year for canoe polo. Players travelled abroad for a range of international competitions (including 2 teams at the World Championships), charity competitions were held, development days took place, and it was all wrapped up with the long-awaited Irish open on the weekend of August 27 & 28th, hosted by Kilcock Canoe Polo Club.

This year, we welcomed Teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland who took part in the successful, enjoyable and competitive weekend. We were delighted to facilitate more than 25 teams, with over 200 players spread across Kilcock Harbour as well as the hundreds of spectators that stopped to watch.

Over the weekend, we saw a very high standard of competition. Players were hungry to win, and coaches were eager to succeed. Nevertheless we all could see that there was an atmosphere of positive sportsmanship shown consistently over the two days. Winning or losing a match is a secondary, participating is what matters the most.

Division 1 Final. Included two Kilcock Teams batting for the gold. The Demons team eventually won.
Division 2 Final. Kamikaze (WWKC) won gold against Pyranahs (KCPC).
Division 3 Final. Finished off with Blazers (KCPC) winning gold against Norfolk’n’chance.

None of this would’ve been possible without the contributions of all our volunteers, who helped set up and ensure the smooth running of a very busy weekend. Special thanks too to all the coaches for their hard work and words of support, and to all the players themselves.

With the success of the Irish Open 2022, on behalf of myself, the club, and the National Canoe Polo Committee, I would like to thank all the players, referees, coaches, parents, volunteers and spectators for a great year in Canoe Polo. Roll on 2023!