Welcome to Manchester Sharks

Manchester's Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Water Polo Club

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About us

It must be something in the water...

What makes a water polo player? Take the fitness of a swimmer mixed with the skill of a footballer and then add the power of a rugby player , that's a water polo player.

Founded in 2007, the Manchester Sharks are the North of England's first Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual water polo club. Throughout the years the team has grown from a few members and now has several teams from beginners to experienced players, as well as having a women's team.

Manchester Sharks compete in a local league, attend and compete in national and international gay tournaments and participate in some of the world's largest sporting events.

All welcome

We're a Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual water polo club who welcome all sexual orientations and genders. The Manchester Sharks has a large active membership with over 30 players with 30% being women.


Out of the water we have regular socials, player of the month, annual awards dinner and quarterly social events.


We compete in LGBT tournaments across Europe and beyond, as well as local an regional leagues and competitions. We travel as a team and have fun.


New players are always welcome, all that we ask is that you can at least swim a couple of lengths.

The training session will focus on fitness, polo skills, technique, and above all fun. All training is fully coached with direction coming from head coach Vicky.

The main session lasts 90 minutes, we start with a swim warm up, then on to water polo skills. All sessions end in match practice.

If you're new starter or a little unfit, you're still more than welcome to come down. The swim warm-up is divided so you will be with people of the same ability; so whether it's your first time or you have played before we can cater for you. Remember you can always take a breather.

Just bring yourself, your swimwear and a towel.

Monday Training

Core skills training

9PM - 10pm

Please arrive at the pool for 8:45PM

East Manchester Leisure Centre
Grey Mare Lane, M11 3AY


Your first training session is free, and we will introduce you to our members and show you around.

Thursday Training

Main training session

8PM - 9:30pm

Please arrive at the pool for 7:45PM

East Manchester Leisure Centre
Grey Mare Lane, M11 3AY

£5.00 (£4.00 concession)

Your first training session is free, and we will introduce you to our members and show you around.

Pre Pay £15 per month | This is a monthly payment which covers all Thursday training sessions.

Pre pay is by far the cheaper and easier option, you don't need to bring cash with you. If you're interested in Pre Pay please speak to the club Treasurer.

Meet Our Head Coach Vicky Bowen

Former GB water polo player

Vicky puts us through our paces, teaching us techniques, improving our polo fitness and brings this together with game practice. With many years of experience, Vicky is passionate about improving our game and introducing new players with fun and friendly sessions with tailored training to suit all abilities. As an out and proud lesbian herself, she is involved with all aspects of the club and leads our march in the annual Manchester Pride parade.

Our sister club - Northern Wave

Northern Wave Swimming Club is one of the most established and successful lesbian and gay sports clubs in Europe.

Most people come along to improve their swimming and socialise, though we do cater for those who want to take part in higher level masters competitions. A diverse and friendly community of people, Northern Wave succeeds in being more than just a swim club, it offers an affordable healthy addition to any lifestyle, with many opportunities to get involved!

Women at the Manchester Sharks

The Manchester Sharks have a vibrant, fun women's team

The women's team is currently developing and we very much welcome all new players. You may have never played the sport before and have no idea of the rules but don't worry we can teach you it all from scratch.

Join us for training on Thursday's at East Manchester Leisure Centre. We look forward to seeing you in the water!

Join our team and get wet...

The Manchester Sharks women's team has developed over the last few years by a group of women with a passion for fun and polo. We have a mixture of players from experienced water polo players to women who have had to learn from the basics up. As long as you can swim a couple of lengths and have a sense of fun then you'll fit right in.

The women have a great social calendar. We see this as a crucial part of building our team. You never know what situations you may end up in. Come down and find out #tops_off!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I would like join. What do I do?

    New and experienced players are welcome at all our training sessions. We also have dedicated Beginner's Sessions. Please contact us here for details.
  • What do I need to bring to Training?

    You're able to train in any form of swimwear, however Speedos are ideal. Goggles are not allowed to be worn apart from the warm up/cool down or under instruction from the coach. You'll also need a towel and commitment.
  • I have never played before, can I still train?

    Yes. Manchester Sharks is an all abilities club and ages over 18. We strongly promote water polo and will develop your potential. All we ask is that you can swim with reasonable confidence.
  • Do I need to be a good swimmer?

    We train in a double-end deep pool (no shallow end) so you must be at ease in deep water and be able to swim a few lengths. Training involves some swimming, if you find it exhausting you can simply take a break. Given time your swimming will improve
  • My fitness level is quite low, can I still join?

    Yes. Water Polo is a great sport for improving your over all fitness. You may feel tired for your first few sessions, but stick with it and each session gets easier as you'll feel fitter. At any time, if you feel tired you can swim to the edge of the pool and take a breather until your ready to join in again.
  • What should I expect?

    You'll be welcomed from your first session. You will be able to train with players of similar ability and fitness. You will be given swim training, along with core water polo skills and a chance to play in a full friendly match, putting these skills into practice. As a team based sport, it is an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends.
  • What is Waterpolo?

    Water polo is a team water sport and it is the oldest Olympic team sport. The idea is to score goals in a net like football. click here for more Details
  • Where do you train?

    Our Main session is every Thursday at 8pm at East Manchester Leisure Centre, Grey Mare Lane, Manchester M11 3AY.
  • Do I have to play in (a) league/tournaments?

    No, you're not expected to play in any matches. However you will be encouraged to take part, and we will make every effort regardless of your ability to ensure you're able to take part.
  • What are the rules of polo??

    Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) water polo's world governing body set the rules. Check out FINA for details.
  • I am over 40, can I still join?

    Yes. We have players of all ages from 18 up into their 50s and 60s. Age is no barrier to joining the club.
  • I'm a person living with HIV, can I still join?

    Absolutely. Your HIV status is not an issue and you do not need to disclose your status to us.
  • I'm a woman, will I be ok to train with the men?

    Of course. At the Sharks men and women train together, it is about your ability rather than gender. We provide a safe environment for you to train and join in. Over a third of members at the sharks are women, we have women in our first team and often the women kick the mens arses.
  • Is water polo a rough sport?

    Although water polo is a non-contact sport, it can be close contact in some of the positions. There is always a referee so the pool is very well policed and play controlled. All players learn to be respectful of differing abilities in the pool.

About Water polo

Swimming with the ball



Shooting and faking

Defensive positioning

Jump half turns

Waterpolo League

The Manchester Sharks compete in the Bolton and District Water Polo League.

League matches from May - October.

See the calander for match dates.

Location | East Manchester Leisure Centre

Feel free to contact us