Harvey Birch, a second-year mathematical physics student, recently became the under 21s Canoe Polo Men’s World Champion. Despite winning gold in this year’s World Championships, Harvey only started playing canoe polo in 2012.
Speaking about his win in Italy, Harvey said: “Becoming a world champion means a lot to me. It is a huge reward for the time and effort I’ve put in over the last four years. All those cold winter nights pay off when the glorious Sicilian sun rains down on your gold medal.”
Alongside his fellow teammates, Harvey won the impressive world champion title after beating Germany 5-4 in the final. The competition lasted six days and took place in Syracuse, Sicily.
Clearly, studying and becoming a world champion is no easy feat. Not only does Harvey study hard, he also fits in four boat-training sessions per week, while finding the time to cycle, swim and train in the gym.
Harvey is now training for the 2017 European Championships and has his sights set on an Olympic medal. Once he has graduated, Harvey hopes to pursue a career in research.
Canoe polo facts
Not heard of canoe polo? Here are some facts:
– A game of canoe polo is played by two teams
– Each team can have five players on the pitch at any one time
– The aim of a canoe polo game is to score a goal in the opposition’s net
– The net is positioned two-metres above the water
– You can throw the ball using either your hand or your paddle
You can find out more about canoe polo on the British canoeing website. If you live in Merseyside and you’re interested in giving canoe polo a go, contact the club Harvey Birch trains with – Friends of Allonby Canoe Club.