Mid Sussex Marlins’ Izzy Bates has been awarded ‘most valuable female player’ across all three water polo national league divisions – what an honour! It is a coveted award and caps an excellent season for the Marlins’ Ladies squad.
Izzy has been ‘swimming’, according to her parents, since the age of just 2! She comes from a ‘poloing’ family with her father, brother and elder sister Charlotte all playing polo for Mid Sussex Marlins. Izzy joined Mid Sussex Marlins Swimming Club at the age of 6, but had to wait until she was 8 to join the polo section.
Her National League experience started young, since the age of 4 she has been travelling the length and breadth of the country with the family watching her father coach and elder sister play, and in her non-playing days would often eavesdrop on the oppositions pre-match team talks reporting back as only a 4 year old could!
She made her National League debut in 2002 at Crystal Palace aged 12, and ever since then has worn the #12 hat when playing for Marlins.
Izzy is a popular and key member of Marlins squad and polo leadership team. As an ex GB Junior, Southern Counties, and Sussex player Izzy is keen on helping to promote ladies polo at a local level, supporting the development not only of Mid Sussex Marlins but the Sussex County and South East Regional squads.
She continues to work hard at her game and is highly competitive, putting this year’s success down to her two polo sessions a week, additional Masters swimming session, regular Kettlebell training classes and maybe the odd Gin & Tonic or two!
by Tony Noble, Mid Sussex Marlins Head Coach, Waterpolo