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Joel Leighton

Joel Leighton.

Joel is an 18-year-old water polo player studying at Manchester Metropolitan University who plays for the City of Sheffield Club and has represented Great Britain under-19s at European the Championships. He has also played in the Croatian League for VK Delfin Rovinj.

Joel says: "I've been playing water polo for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories are playing around with a ball in the swimming pool with my mum and dad who eventually started the mini-polo club at In Hathersage.

"After just about grasping the basic skills, I joined the City of Sheffield Water Polo Academy at the age of nine, where I learned in more detail and precision how to play the game.

"I graduated from the academy when I was 12 and joined the junior programme where I met some of my closest friends and continued to develop my game, skills and fitness.

"It was then the transition period from junior to senior where I found it hard balancing training, school and socialising especially with national squad and club commitments, but with support from those closest to me I found the time and the willpower to fit it all in and feel I have become a better person because of my sport."