Monday 2 – Friday 6 July: 2018 AON Open Swimming Championships
In early July more than 300 of New Zealand’s fastest swimmers arrived at the National Aquatic Centre for the 2018 AON Open Swimming Championships. The event is the pinnacle domestic meet for the country’s elite athletes and featured exciting battles between a crop of budding stars, including Commonwealth Games swimming medallist Lewis Clareburt. The large contingent of North Shore swimmers continued to showcase their strengths, both in performance and poolside support. Commonwealth Games swimmer Carina Doyle led the charge with Championship titles in the 100m and 200m freestyle events. Fellow clubmate and AUT Millennium Swim Instructor, Yeonsu Lee, came agonisingly close to gold in the 100m butterfly. Despite a powerful finish in the event, Yeonsu had to settle for silver behind Vanessa Ouwehand, who backed up her gold in the 50m butterfly. North Shore Swimming was also recognised at the annual Swimming New Zealand Awards, where they received Swimming New Zealand Performance Club of the Year.
Sunday 8 – Tuesday 16 July: 2018 Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival
Just two days after the swimming championships ended, it was time for another major event. Boasting more than 150 teams across eight divisions, the 2018 Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest water polo event. North Harbour Water Polo had a very successful competition, finishing the event with three gold and two silver medals. The U14 boys had an especially exciting game against Queensland, who fought hard to take gold. Senior North Harbour player and coach of the team, David Couper, said “They’re an awesome group of boys who show a lot of potential.” The North Harbour U16 boys earned a silver medal in their division after a one-goal loss in the final. On the final night of competition, the North Harbour Water Polo U18 Women showed their dominance with a gold medal victory over Queensland. A number of the U18 girls then went on to play in the U20 women’s team who also won gold. “A fantastic result,” recalls Eike Daube, head coach for both female teams. “They worked hard throughout both weeks and played a team game at all times.” The North Harbour U18 Men players had to settle for one less, finishing just one goal behind Queensland and took away silver.
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 July: U12 Jelly Belly Tournament
North Harbour Water Polo Club had their hands full running the U12 Jelly Belly Tournament during the last weekend of the school holidays. The event, which attracted more than 35 teams, helped to raise $2,000 to support the Child Cancer Foundation. A range of players attended the weekend including those who had never tried the sport. The little, bobbing faces made it a fun weekend for supporters. Some had trouble keeping the cap on their head! There were a number of nail-biting games, with three finals decided by golden goal. North Harbour Water Polo Club’s B and C grade finals were held on Sunday, meaning that AUT Millennium was a very loud place to be! The children in this age group showed so much skill and strength, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of the pool in the future… maybe a few Olympians?! We’d like to extend a big thank you to naming sponsor, Jelly Belly Gourmet Jelly Beans, for helping to support the 2018 event.
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North Harbour Water Polo Club:
North Shore Swimming