Wednesday 1st February 2023

Getting To Know Aquatics

Want to know more about Swimming and Water Polo before joining a society? Here’s a quick overview of what Scottish Student Sport offers for Aquatics.

Aquatics Image


While Aquatics can be a broad umbrella term for many water sports, at Scottish Student Sport this term refers to Swimming and Water Polo. Swimming may need little introduction but Water Polo could require some explanation.

To give a brief overview, Swimming involves competitors racing against each other over the required laps of a swimming pool in the fastest time. The first to cover the requisite distance is the winner. Swimming competitions are split into lengths and types of stroke, including butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke. In team competitions, one swimmer will start in the water and after they have gone the requisite distance, the next swimmer will dive into the pool. The winning team will be the first to cover the required distance.

Water Polo is the aquatic variation of Polo. The game is played by two teams of seven players with one goalkeeper per team. The object of the game is to throw the polo ball into the opponent’s net. Once a team is in possession of the ball, they are given 30 seconds to have a shot at the opposing goal. If a shot isn’t taken then play will be handed over to the opposing team. Water Polo players are only allowed to hold and receive the ball with one hand. Handling with both will result in a foul. The game takes place over four 8-minute periods, with the winning team being those with the most goals by the end of the game.

Great Britain has seen a mix of success in Olympic Aquatics events. Firstly, Great Britain saw immediate success in Water Polo, winning the first four Men’s Finals (Great Britain only officially holds three gold medals as one was later attributed to the Mixed Team due to one GB member being from New Zealand). No GB team has made it to the top 4 since 1928.

In swimming, Great Britain holds the sixth-best record with 20 gold, 29 silver and 30 bronze medals. In 2020, Great Britain won four gold medals, won by Thomas Dean (Men’s 200m Freestyle), Adam Peaty (Men’s 100m Breaststroke), the team of Thomas Dean, James Guy, Matthew Richards, Duncan Scott and Callum Jarvis (Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay) and the team of Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty, James Guy, Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson (Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay). Both Duncan Scott and Kathleen Dawson studied at the University of Stirling.

Scottish Student Sport holds two Aquatics Swimming Leagues open to all participants regardless of skill level and hosts the Aquatics Championships every year at the academic year-end. There are also BUCS Swimming and Water Polo competitions for students to take part in. To find out more, click here:

If you want to join an Aquatics society, click the following links:


Heriot-Watt University:

Queen Margaret University:



University of Aberdeen (Swimming & Water Polo):

University of Dundee:

University of Edinburgh:

University of Glasgow:

University of St. Andrews (Swimming):

University of St. Andrews (Water Polo):

University of Stirling (Swimming):

University of Stirling (Water Polo):

University of Strathclyde:


Sports Chair: Cameron Brodie –

Governing Body: Scottish Swimming –

Contact us using #ScotStuAquatics