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Photo by Gretchen Beardmore

Success for Columba students at the Junior Waterpolo National Champs

Mrs G Beardmore —

Columba College is extremely proud of our students who represented Otago at the National Junior Waterpolo Champs held in Christchurch at the end of 2022. The Sports Department is excited about the rise in popularity and development of our waterpolo programme, and is incredibly grateful for the support of a fabulous group of parents and student coach.

In December 2022, Year 10 students Ella Reid-Blair and Sian Robertson, and Year 9 student Olivia Brown headed off to represent Otago at the Under 14 Waterpolo Nationals in Christchurch. For Ella and Sian, the tournament had been a long time coming, given that Covid ended their chances of attending Nationals in Tauranga at the end of 2021.

Ella has been in the Otago squad now for four years, in both the Otago U12 and U14 teams, and Sian joined her last year in the U14s. Olivia Brown is currently in the Otago Under 12 squad, however (luckily) agreed to make the trip with the Under 14 team to experience competition at a higher level. 

The Junior Waterpolo National Championships is always a popular event to look forward to on the calendar, with schools from across the South and North Islands in attendance. Although Otago didn’t place in the top 10, the experience of competing against teams from all over New Zealand was amazing for the girls, and hugely valuable from a developmental perspective. The U14 team performed extremely well and held their own across the competition, with games in the pool proving to be very fast and physical. The girls returned having acquired many new skills and a higher level of understanding of the technicalities of gameplay. This will provide great building blocks for Ella and Sian as they move up to the Under 16 squad in 2023, and will put Olivia in a good position for further representative honours. 

We are very proud of our Columba water polo player achievements. Well done, girls!