Harvey Birch, a third year mathematical physics student, recently won gold at the Canoe Polo European Championships alongside two other University of Liverpool students – Jack Playford and Shivan McCutcheon.
Harvey and his Great Britain U21s teammates won the Championship title after beating Germany 3-2 in the final of the three-day competition. Although he was suffering from match-day nerves and the first half ended in a 1-1 draw, Harvey and his team managed to secure the winning goal with four minutes left on the clock.
Speaking about the win, Harvey said: “We played well. We came, we won, we conquered.”
Despite only starting to play canoe polo in 2012, Harvey’s recent win follows on from his success at the Canoe Polo World Championships in 2016, where he and his teammates won gold.
Looking to the future, Harvey hopes to join Great Britain’s Senior Canoe Polo Men’s team and is planning to do a Masters next year at the University.
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. You can also find out more about canoeing via the Liverpool University Canoe Club. 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.
All three of canoe polo champions are part of Sport Liverpool’s Elite Athlete Scheme, which aims to support talented students. You can find out more about the scheme via our Elite Athlete Scheme webpages.