The rising stars of New Zealand water polo have shown what they're made of in a competition with hundreds of players hosted in the Bay.
The Rotorua Under-14 Development Tournament attracted more than 230 players from Hutt Valley, Manawatu, Tauranga, Waikato and Auckland to compete between August 23-25 at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.
Water Polo Rotorua president Slim Potter said there was a great atmosphere during the tournament and plenty of spectators.
"We had our two teams and 19 visiting teams which is good. In the old days there used to just be the Division 1 tournament, there was nothing for the smaller clubs or the clubs with B teams because they'd just get smashed by the A teams.
"We started this tournament to get kids of this age some more water polo. The quality was really good, it's gotten better every year. It's growing and growing, the clubs are getting better because water polo is growing immensely currently."
The Rotorua boys' team finished fourth overall. In pool play they beat Marist, Manawatu and Hibiscus but lost to Bay of Plenty rivals Tauranga. Those results saw them progress to the semifinals where they went down 6-0 to Auckland side Seawolf before losing 6-2 to Tauranga in the third-place playoff.
The Rotorua girls' team finished second, going down 5-2 to Tauranga in the final. They went through pool play unbeaten, claiming wins against Marist, Atlantis, Waikato and Sea Wolf, before taking down Hutt in the semifinal.
Potter said the Rotorua girls' silver medal was a great achievement.
"The semifinal against Hutt was probably the best game we played, they looked like one of the stronger teams.
"The boys only had nine players, so two subs. They had a few injuries and people away, which happens. That made it tough when they needed a rest but they still made the semis, they did very well to get that far.
"The teamwork from both was good and not just in the water. There's a good culture here, or the parents were there and they helped with cooking and baking for fundraising. We're not a very big club but it's certainly one big team."
The under-14 national tournaments will be held in December. Division 2 is being held in Tauranga while Division 1 is in Wellington.
Rotorua Under-14 Development Water Polo Tournament - final placings
Boys: 1st Seawolf, 2nd Waikato, 3rd Tauranga, 4th Rotorua, 5th Hibiscus Coast, 6th Hutt, 7th= Marist, Waitakere, 9th Manawatu, 10th Mountfort.
Girls: 1st Tauranga, 2nd Rotorua, 3rd Atlantis, 4th Hutt, 5th Waikato, 6th Waitakere, 7th Marist, 8th Hibiscus Coast, 9th Sea Wolf, 10th Manawatu, 11th Mountfort.
Boys: Josh Bundell (Rotorua), Joshua Edwards (Waikato), Ivan Fateev (Seawolf), Cody Henry (Tauranga), David Li (Seawolf), Elijah Singleton (Waikato), Sam Trass (Rotorua).
Girls: Emma Balmer (Rotorua), Maddie Carpenter (Atlantis), Bella Ethrington (Tauranga), Giselle Rollo (Atlantis), Ava Sands (Tauranga), Georgina Smith (Hutt), Zoe Stubbing (Rotorua).
Boys MVP: Felix Allanson (Seawolf).
Boys Most Valuable Goalie: Sherif Hosni (Waikato).
Girls MVP: Sarah Edwards (Tauranga).
Girls Most Valuable Goalie: Maddy Manaia (Rotorua).