CURRENTLY making waves in the pool is one Kendal teenager determined to take his chance and shine in the water polo fast lane.
Daniel Armstrong has earned a much-coveted place in the Great Britain Water Polo National Talent Programme despite only taking up the sport in October.
Fast-forward six months and the 14-year-old is now part of the Great Britain under-15 squad which aims to qualify for the Junior Men’s European Championships in 2017.
After his successful trial, Armstrong now attends a high-intensity training session in Cardiff each month to work on stamina work, drills, game-play and nutritional awareness.
“I’m delighted to have this opportunity, I really enjoy competitive swimming and water polo and there is always a great team spirit in the latter,” he said.
“Being asked to go to the Great Britain water polo trials was an exciting experience in itself and I was ecstatic to find I’d been selected for the squad.
“I train a lot but I don’t mind that in the slightest as the challenge is something I really enjoy and thrive on. The coaches are great and I’m learning plenty of new skills.”
Queen Katherine School student Armstrong – a member of Kendal Amateur Swimming Club for five years – first joined Kendal Water Polo Club last autumn.
After only a few weeks he was selected to attend regional training at Lancaster’s Salt Ayre Sports Centre, gaining selection to the North West Regional Water Polo team in the process.
Just eight sessions later, Armstrong was on his way to Cardiff in January for Great Britain trials, a demanding period ahead of hopeful selection to the under-15 talent development squad.
With 86 players throughout the country competing for a spot in this age-group, a nervous wait followed before the youngster was told of his more permanent inclusion in the Great Britain set-up.
With the future looking bright, Armstrong points to the influence of an Olympic hero who he rates as the main influence on him starting to play water polo in the first place.
“I was lucky enough to go to the 2012 Olympics in London which was a fantastic occasion,” he added. “While I was there I saw Kendal’s Glen Robinson play for Great Britain.
“It’s fair to say that experience inspired me and encouraged me to take up the sport.”