Mount Maunganui College have claimed silver at an invitational water polo tournament.

Due to the New Zealand Secondary School Water Polo Nationals being cancelled, an invitational tournament was set up for the top 10 female water polo teams in the country, in the form of the Chris Hayward Invitational.

The tournament was held in Auckland in the first week of the school holidays.

Mount Maunganui Year 13 students Elle Smith and Chanelle West led the team to a silver medal among a competitive field. The result was great reward for a team that had largely been together since attending Mount Maunganui Intermediate in 2013.


Both Elle and Chanelle were selected in the New Zealand Youth Squad and were set to tour to Israel in September but this was cancelled due to Covid-19. The girls were the only two selected from outside of Auckland and would travel up most weekends to train with the team prior to lockdown, and their coach would send through regular training programmes for them.

The Year 13 girls were excited to make the team and head off to the World Championships, and were understandably heartbroken to receive the news they could no longer compete for their country.

"When I heard that worlds were cancelled I was gutted because I was thinking of taking a step back and focusing on university after this year, as I want to study health science," Chanelle said.

After the cancellation of the World Youth Tournament the girls turned their attention to enjoying their last tournament with their mates, and came away with the much deserved reward.

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Other members of the team were:
Greer Anderson
Lana Beck
Renee Burggraaf
Maddi Culpan
Hattie Fraser
Ashleigh Keach
Ashlee Lemoto
Lucy Mano
Nicole McLaren
Charlotte Narbey
Ella Rutten
Molly Shivnan