WATER polo funding for the 2016 Rio Olympics has increased from £2.9m in London to £4.5m in three-and-a-half years time.

But is still represented mixed news for South Lakeland’s water polo stars, with all the money being reserved for the women’s team.

Alex Rutlidge from Burton-in-Kendal, Reagill’s Chloe Wilcox and Kendal star Glen Robinson represented Great Britain in this summer’s London Games, and all three hope to figure in the squad for three years time.

Speaking regarding the women’s team, Rutlidge said: “I’m definitely happy with the increase in money and it’s really positive that water polo is getting funded and recognised as a competitive sport, especially in terms of the legacy of these Olympics.

“A few of us from the Team GB squad went around a few primary schools and all the children loved water polo - they had started the sport at their clubs because the Olympics had encouraged them.

“But it’s a shame that the men have missed out on funding.”

The 24-year-old, who will be 27 at the time of the Rio Olympics, added that she was hopeful of making the side for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.