Trans Water Polo Players

Manchester’s LGBTQ+ Water Polo Clubrainbow
You have our support!

Manchester Sharks welcomes everyone who wants to play waterpolo,

and recognizes that trans players may face additional barriers to playing.

We have compiled the following information about our training sessions and facilities which we think may be relevant to trans players.

If you have additional questions, or want to speak to the Inclusion officer or another committee member before coming to your first session,

please get in touch!

East Manchester Leisure Centre (EMLC)

Our main session is at EMLC, which has individual unisex cubicles (and also group changing facilities – most people use the cubicles). Most of the showers are communal, but there are four in individual unisex cubicles. We train in the main pool, the small pool is open to the public during part of our training session but there are rarely people in it. There is a different group that uses the pool before our session so there are a lot of people in the communal showers at the start, which you have to walk past to get to the pool.

The toilets in the changing rooms are gendered and there is a gender neutral accessible toilet at the near of the diving pool.

The pool is 2m deep throughout.


Whilst we have Manchester Sharks branded trunks and costumes, our players are free to swim in whatever swimwear they find comfortable. It is advised that baggy clothing will be much more tiring to swim in, and may hinder your movement (but it won’t stop you from training with us).


We try to ask people their pronouns as well as their name when they come to their first session, but not all members remember. If you find it difficult to correct people, you can ask a committee member to listen out and correct people as it happens, or to make a general announcement if you want that. We have team members who use they/them pronouns so most of the team are used to this already.

SwinEngland Registration

SwimEngland is the provider of our club’s insurance and directs national development in the sport. Unfortunately, SwimEngland requires members to choose from a binary gender option when registering. We disagree with the SwimEngland policy on this but as they are our insurance provider it is the clubs constitutional requirement for players to be SwimEngland registered.

We advise members to choose a gender on their SwimEngland registration bearing in mind that it only becomes relevant if you wish to compete in the Bolton & District Water Polo League. The league is a men’s only league, and there is no women’s or mixed league. Nobody at the club (apart from the Club Secretary) will see the gender you choose on your SwimEngland registration. SwimEngland registration gender can be changed after registration and is updated annually.

Other tournaments

Players of all genders are welcomed in the annual Champagne Water Polo Tournament or for our friendly (non-League) matches. These matches are mixed gender and there is no requirement to state your gender to play.

Champagne Water Polo Tournament
(Rating: Fun)

Absolutely every Shark is welcome and encouraged to play in the Champagne Water Polo League tournaments (which is attended by LGBTQ+ water polo clubs from across Europe). Friendly Matches

LGBTQ+ water polo clubs from across Europe. Friendly Matches
(Rating: Fun)

We have regular friendly matches against local teams, every Shark is welcome and encouraged to play in these matches.

Bolton & District Water Polo League
(Rating: Competitive)

The B&DWPL requires that players meet the ASA regulations on Trans Competitors (please see attached/ link to the policy)