NIAMH MOLONEY has described playing on the global stage for Great Britain's senior women's water polo team as "amazing".

And she hopes the Olympic Games could one day become a possibility too.

The 21-year-old Dunfermline Water Polo Club star, who last month was named as Sports Personality of the Year for 2023 at the annual Dunfermline and West Fife Sports Council Awards, travelled with the squad to Doha, Qatar, earlier in February.

GB's senior women qualified to compete in the tournament, held as part of the World Aquatics Championships, after placing seventh at the European Water Polo Championships in January.

Niamh played a key role in both events, with the European competition GB senior women's first appearance at that level for a decade, whilst it has been slightly longer since they last appeared on the world stage.

In Qatar, GB finished 11th, bettering the 13th place achieved on their last appearance, and secured their first-ever wins at that level, against South Africa and Kazakhstan.

"It's the best performance and finish we've ever had at a world championships," Niamh told Press Sport.

"It's an amazing thing to be part of, especially when we weren't ranked at all last year, in anything water polo. To now be ranked seventh in the Europeans, and 11th in the world, is pretty amazing.

"To get the first win against South Africa was pretty amazing, and then to be able to top that off with another one at the end was pretty good as well.

Dunfermline Press: Niamh Moloney has helped Great Britain's senior women's water polo team qualify for the World

"I think it already has put water polo on the map, especially with the amount of support we've got from friends and family, and then people who have never heard of the sport coming in and watching it.

"Hopefully the funding will keep coming, we'll keep improving, and maybe there will be the Olympics in the future. We'll see but that's the hope now.

"Now that we've done the worlds, even though we didn't expect to, I think the next goal has got to be the Olympics I think.

"I don't know how long it'll take to get there, but hopefully, at some point, we'll get back to that level of playing and being able to compete.

"I think everyone now is hoping for that goal as well, and hopefully the funding backs us to be able to do that."

Niamh is set to concentrate on starring for Dunfermline, with whom she hopes to enjoy Scottish Cup glory with this year, in the short-term, as GB's next competition to aim for looks set to be the next European Championships in two years time.

She can, however, look back fondly on her world championship experience, which even saw members of the squad having the chance to mingle with star swimmers like Adam Peaty.

"It was a lot bigger than the Europeans, especially because we had the swimming, diving, artistic swimming, the high diving - there was loads of athletes," Niamh continued.

"We were split across loads of hotels but it was pretty amazing, being able to walk past swimmers that are famous and thinking 'oh my God'!

"We were out there for two weeks. It was a long time but it did go quite quickly. Even then, we exceeded expectations I think, being able to rank 11th now."