Team celebrates as pool puts Matlock on the sporting map

Matlock Waterpolo team members and officials pictured outside the Arc Leisure Centre, which is to host top flight waterpolo matches, they are from left, Welfare officer Richard Flint, captain and Vice-President Richard Massey, his son Francis, Club Chairman Colin Ingley and it's President and coach Jim Evans.
Matlock Waterpolo team members and officials pictured outside the Arc Leisure Centre, which is to host top flight waterpolo matches, they are from left, Welfare officer Richard Flint, captain and Vice-President Richard Massey, his son Francis, Club Chairman Colin Ingley and it's President and coach Jim Evans.
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Members of a sports team are celebrating after years campaigning to get elite athletes to come to Matlock has paid off – putting the town on the sporting map.

For the first time ever, British League Water Polo players will battle it out in Derbyshire during a weekend of fixtures at Matlock’s Arc Leisure on November 28 and 29.

When the leisure centre was still being built, Matlock Water Polo Club lobbied Derbyshire Dales District Council to include a swimming pool with a movable bottom, believing it would attract national sportsmen to the town.

Despite the near £250,000 price tag for the special feature, the authority agreed – meaning the pool can be made deep throughout.

Jim Evans, president of Matlock Water Polo Club, said: “It’s really good that what we have been saying about all deep pools is paying off.

“It’s far and away the best facility in Derbyshire and it feels good that the elite of the sport are coming to Matlock and we’re putting Matlock on the sporting Matlock.”

After persuading the council to pay for the movable bottom pool, Jim then approached the British Water Polo League and recommended that they use Arc Leisure for matches.

He added the pool’s increased use by top sportsmen would prove beneficial to the town’s economy. If you’ve got a team playing over two days they are going to stay overnight and eat locally as well.” he said.