W.Howard Group has a long history of helping young people to develop their skills, whether that’s through our apprenticeship programme, or by supporting inspiring local young people with a talent for sport.

Seventeen-year-old Kelsy Evans represents England at Water Polo, and has just been called up to trial with the Great Britain Senior Women’s Team, where she will be hoping to be selected for future European tournaments.

The daughter of Sean Evans, a member of the W.Howard Group team who works in the Manchester Distribution Centre, Kelsy started playing water polo when she was just eight years-old. Already a strong swimmer, water polo appealed to her because it offered more variety than the swimming galas she had previously been involved with. During Kelsy’s career she has played for numerous local and regional teams including Tyldesley, Warrington, Liverpool, North West Counties, and she now plays at a national level.

Kelsy says: “I love the challenge involved in the game. The fast pace means it’s vital to keep a controlled mindset even in unpredictable situations – the sport and my team have really helped me to develop those qualities, and I am grateful to have them.”

After repeatedly proving herself to be a skilled player in her regional tournaments, Kelsy was selected by her coaches to attend a National Training Camp. From there, she began training monthly with the team, before being selected to join the England team – going on to even become Vice Captain.

“The opportunity to even train with the best players in Great Britain was already a massive honour,” Kelsy explains. “Actually being chosen for the team was the culmination of a lifelong dream that made me love the sport even more.”

With a trial for the Great Britain Senior Women’s Team ahead, Kelsy will now be aiming to impress for European Selection in July and looking ahead for future selections and tournaments.

In the meantime, she is still playing for her local Tyldesley team in the British Water Polo League (BWPL), which recently qualified for the top Division One League. For all BWPL weekends, players are required to pay for their own accommodation, food and drink, transport and match fees. This is also the case for training camps as part of the national team. Until now, Kelsy’s family have covered the costs, but to help Kelsy further develop her career, W.Howard Group has agreed to sponsor these costs going forward – something that will make a massive difference to Kelsy and her family.

Kelsy explains: “Water polo is a minority sport that isn’t often represented on TV, and so it receives very little funding. That makes it really expensive for the players to really immerse ourselves in the sport. Sponsorship from W.Howard will really help me move to the next step in my water polo career and give me the opportunity to fulfil my potential.”

And it’s already looking like a busy year ahead for Kelsy and her team-mates. Kelsy has been selected to join the Great Britain Under 19 Training Camp in Athens in March, and towards the end of June she will be heading for the Czech Republic to take part in the EU Nations Tournament. There are further potential trips around Europe to take part in other European competitions, including to Holland, Greece and Israel, also coming up in the not-too-distant future.
“My ultimate goal for my sporting career is to play for Great Britain in the Junior Women’s European Championships this summer,” Kelsy concludes. “The thought of representing my country in such a widely respected competition makes all the hard work worth it.”
Graham Williams, Group Managing Director at W.Howard Group, says: “We’re thrilled to be able to help support Kelsy’s sporting career. We’ve all watched and cheered her on as she’s developed her skills over the past few years, and to now be able to help cover some of the costs as she reaches such an exciting milestone and trials with the Great Britain Senior Women’s Team is fantastic.”