Alan Boyle Receives MBE for Services to Swimming and Water Polo

Dr Alan Boyle has been recognised with the award of an MBE in the New Years Honours list for his exceptional contribution to swimming and water polo over the last sixty years.

He receives an MBE in recognition of his services to swimming and water polo which have included being a player, coach, tutor and referee, and helped to administer the sport from grassroots to the highest level within the regional and national governing bodies

Alan has always contributed to the encouragement and coaching of water polo players at club and regional level, from the youngest players to senior representative sides for the club, District and Northern Counties for over three decades. He has been the water polo coach at the Warrington club for thirty years, Water Polo Secretary for twenty seven years as well as swimming coach for five years. He regularly attends training session three to four times a week and only misses these due the other commitments to do with water polo. At one point he was responsible for coaching three club teams, one county team, two district teams, and two regional teams. Warrington Swimming and Water Polo club has won over sixty championships, tournaments and leagues whilst he has been the coach, not counting the inter district and regional team efforts and wins over this period. In recent years there have been a number of players who have gone on to represent GB at water polo which includes Hazel Musgrove who competed in London 2012, Courtney Dean and Tom Hadley.

He is well recognised throughout the water polo world not only as a coach, but also as a referee for local leagues and until recently up to National league and ASA level. He must have refereed over 1,000 games in his career- an essential activity as without people like Alan the game does not exist.

Other tasks undertaken includes coordinating refereeing appointments in the North West for all the games he was not refereeing himself (up to four games or more on some evenings). He has also organised and ran many courses to increase participation in the sport (mini polo for youngsters, open days at local pools, mini competitions in the region to name but a few), but also to train and mentor new coaches, referees, and the officials necessary to allow competitions and matches to take place.

Alan has also taken on significant roles in the Region and National Governing body (Amateur Swimming Association -ASA for short) in relation to constitutional matters, rules and regulations. He has helped many local clubs and various Associations to amend rules or constitutions that were very outdated, or without adequate written documentation that aligned with the governing body, and in many cases conflicting or silent on important issues such as child welfare and safety, and the protection of volunteers who were running and managing clubs.

“Alan deserves the recognition for his endeavours, and hopefully encourages many other volunteers to follow in his footsteps and keep water polo as an active and thriving sport for many generations to come.” 

Other details

Alan was born on 22nd January 1938, and will be 77 years old in three weeks time

Alan has been a member of Warrington Swimming and Water Polo Club for over sixty years.

Not only was he a keen swimmer winning ten club championships, he also played in the water polo team for twenty one years.

Since then he has put a tremendous amount of energy back into the sport, with many management and secretarial roles at club, regional and national levels on swimming and water polo executive committees. This has included being President of the Northern Counties Swimming Association, the Northern Water Polo league and Cheshire County.

This commitment was recognised by the club when he was made a life member of the club in 1982 and by the Northern Counties with an award for his services to Water Polo in 2001. Since then he has also been granted life member status in all the County, District and Regional bodies covering the sport, and been recognised by further awards for his amazing and sustained contributions- all voluntary.