*Story provided by Aberfan Canoe Club*
This is the 9th year that the Aberfan Canoe Club has hosted the Universities Canoe Polo Competition, again some 43 teams entered making it the largest competition in the Country after Nottingham and London (45 teams). Unfortunately, this year the inclement weather was against us and resulted in 3 Universities withdrawing because of poor travelling conditions due to the snow.
This two day event has become one of the highlights in the Club calendar, again with some nearly 600 competitors and supporters attending, many arriving on the Friday night and booking accommodation for the weekend in the local area.
Club members worked the previous week often in atrocious weather to set up various marquees and shelters for the competitors, officials and spectators. However, only two floating pitches could be set up on the lake due to silting restrictions. It is uncertain how much longer this can continue at the current rate of silt build up. Two pitches were set up in the weir pools, although one of the weir pools is not normally used for competitions due to size restrictions.
Competitors arrived from Universities in Bath, Birmingham, Bangor, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Liverpool, London, Loughborough, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton, Swansea, Warwick and York. The teams were graded according to their National ranking and split into two open divisions and a Ladies Division. The games started at 8am on Saturday and until 6.30pm, the last two hours being held under floodlights.
On Sunday they started at 8.30 and finished at 4.30 followed by the presentation of the awards. Altogether some 168 fast and furious games were played over the weekend.
The results were:
Group A Group B Ladies
London Nottingham Nottingham
Loughborough York Liverpool
Warwick Warwick Bangor
Despite the weather conditions the Competition proved to be most successful and several complimentary comments have been received by the Club and we are now looking hopefully towards 2019.
Thanks are due to Gerald Lewis and his team for their support, also to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Merthyr Valley Homes, Merthyr Self Storage, Sport Wales, Friends of the Park and to all who helped to make the weekend a success especially the ladies who kept every one supplied with hot sustenance.