The recent tour to Auckland, New Zealand from 4 to 19 July 2018 to participate in the Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival, turned out to be a great learning experience for the U16 Girls’ and Boys’ teams from South Africa.

The tournament was a bit of a baptism of fire as the teams played in the U16 Division first and then went on to play in the U18 Division a few days later – in total each team played 16 games over the course of the two tournaments! This was the first time that the U16 Boys’ had attended the event, purportedly the largest age-group club festival held every two years in the southern hemisphere. In 2016, we sent a single U16 Girls’ team who finished 8th in the U16 Division and 13th in the U18 Division.

The format of the tournaments was harsh as it didn’t allow for a single mistake, but that being said our four teams acquitted themselves exceptionally well and developed and improved as the tour progressed. The Final standings in the two tournaments were:

  U16 Division U18 Division
U16A Girls 4th out of 28 teams 4th out of 20 teams
U16B Girls 8th out of 28 teams 11th out of 20 teams
U16A Boys 5th out of 29 teams 9th out of 16 teams
U16B Boys 13th out of 29 teams 7th out of 16 teams

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A very big thank you must go to the Coaches (Sarah Harris, Delaine Christian, Dean Whyte and Chad Gabriels) and the Managers (Candice Williams and Vladimir Trninic) who accompanied the Girls and Boys to New Zealand – you did a sterling job!

The teams participating in the U18 competitions are listed here:
Announcement of the U16 Boys Teams to participate in Pan Pacific U18 Boys Section (11 July 2018)
Announcement of the U16 Girls Teams to participate in the Pan Pacific U18 Girls Section (11 July 2018)