Famous sports alumni: Ed Scott

Goalkeeper Ed Scott played his part in Bolton School’s extraordinary predominance in water polo, winning English Schools titles

Ed later went on to compete with the GB men’s water polo team at the 2012 London Olympics, and still plays the sport at the highest level with the City of Manchester team.

What are your memories of the sports coaching at Bolton?

I was very lucky to have some great coaches at Bolton School. We had Mike Yates, the junior GB coach at the time, while Simon Jones had won English Schools at all three age groups as a player and made it very clear that he wanted to do the same as a coach. 

What did Bolton give you, in terms of your development as an athlete?

School was instrumental in my improvement as an athlete. The water polo training was geared towards being the best in the country, so I learned ambition from an early age. On top of school training sessions, I was encouraged to train with the nearest senior club, City of Manchester. The school was also extremely supportive when it came to international tournaments and training camps.

What are your memories of school life beyond the sports field?

Some of my fondest memories are of the fantastic school trips – including an annual visit to the outdoor pursuits centre at Patterdale in the Lake District. As well as this, I was lucky enough to visit Russia on numerous occasions, as part of my language studies. But the highlight was a water polo tour to Hawaii! 

You first represented Britain as a junior at the age of 15, with the U18 squad. Was that an intimidating milieu to step into?

I had actually missed selection for the U16 side a few months earlier, but luckily the U18 coaches thought I was good enough for their squad! Yes it was a little intimidating, but training and competing with senior players was something I always strived to do. It made me raise my game improve as a player. Being ‘out of your depth’ makes you learn fast. 

What are your memories of the 2012 Olympics?

You don’t get any bigger than the Olympics: they are frequently described as ‘the greatest show on earth’ and they lived up to expectations. Everything from the atmosphere of the Village and the support from the home crowds to the opening and closing ceremonies will live with me forever.

What has been your greatest challenge so far? 

During my first three years studying medicine at Leeds University, I continued to play and train with the Great Britain team who were based in Manchester. Juggling a very demanding degree with international sport was hard. I very quickly became good at time management skills and learnt to prioritise important events and exams.

You don’t get any bigger than the Olympics: they are frequently described as ‘the greatest show on earth’ and they lived up to expectations

Do you think that water polo generally gets the exposure it deserves? 

I’m (obviously) biased and would love to see water polo get more exposure. It continues to be a minority sport in Great Britain, receiving less publicity than in Europe. It’s frustrating as without this exposure, it becomes hard to publicise the sport, making it harder to source investment to help the sport grow and create a more competitive league and national team. Without the latter, it’s harder to gain exposure. A vicious cycle. 

There is currently a water polo management group working to address this issue, and I hope they succeed. 

What are your plans for the future? Will water polo continue to play an important part for you?

I still continue to play at the highest level, playing for my City of Manchester, although I don’t train as much as I used to! I still very much enjoy playing and will do so as long as my working life allows.

What have been your guiding principles so far, in your sporting and academic successes? 

Take yourself out of your comfort zone. If you train and work with the best, you will become one of the best yourself. And if you set clear goals for yourself, more often than not you will achieve them.

To read about Ed on twitter visit www.twitter.com/edscott88

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