NZ Teams compete at 2014 World Championships

New Zealand Canoe Polo teams ranked amongst the best in the world. 29 September 2014 New Zealand Canoe Polo teams have completed their month-long campaign finishing amongst the best in the world at the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in Thury-Harcourt, France. The championships which attracts 600 athletes and 50,000 spectators is dominated by strong European teams who regularly rank in the top five and this year was no different. New Zealand teams, however, managed to squeeze into the standings lifting their profile again this time around and showing that they are a force to be reckoned with. 70-410 MB2-703 The New Zealand men’s team, Paddle Blacks, went into the competition with a world ranking of 13, and are now ranked 7thfrom their hard-fought campaign. The women’s team, Paddle Ferns, cemented their position as top four in the world, as did the under-21 men’s team, Junior Paddle Blacks. The under-21 women’s teamwere the only medallists bringing home a bronze medal for their efforts. Teams left New Zealand at the beginning of September to attend weekend tournaments in the Netherlands, France and Belgium before heading to the main event in Normandy, France.The level of competition prior to the tournament helped New Zealand in its quest for medals. Despite the high rankingsthe teams need more elite competition and the lack of opportunity was summed up well by the bronze medal-winning captain Sophie Winton who believed all teams benefited from the experience. “In Europe, the teams have so many tournaments throughout the year compared to us, we’ve got less than five”, she said. Teams will start arriving back in the country within the next fortnight for the start of the local canoe polo season looking to impart knowledge,share new skills and train hard for the next big event. The teams are below. NZ Paddle Ferns (Women) Tania Dugdale (captain) – Christchurch Megan Juno – Palmerston North Erin Bolton – Palmerston North Emma Hicks – Palmerston North Jordan Housiaux – Otaki Hannah Staples – Christchurch Olivia Spencer-Bower – Christchurch Paddle Blacks (men) James Mitchell (captain) – Palmerston North Jed Graham – Christchurch Nevan Hadley – Palmerston North Hamish Dugdale – Christchurch Matt Keong – Palmerston North Conor Sellwood – Palmerston North Luke Dustin – Palmerston North Carl Duncan – Palmerston North NZ under-21 women Sophie Winton (captain) – Hawke’s Bay Britney Rolston – Auckland Stephanie Dryfhout – Palmerston North Lara Pritchard – Wairarapa Sian Fendall – Palmerston North Ella Richardson – Hawke’s Bay Jordan Pfeiler – Waikanae Sarah Ralton – Christchurch Junior Paddle Blacks (under-21 men) Sam Hapeta (captain) – Palmerston North Jordan Hinton – Hawke’s Bay James Gibb – Auckland Jade Johnson – Christchurch Aaron Crabb – Palmerston North Ollie Maassen – Palmerston North Max Whitaker-Mills – Palmerston North Rod McDonald – Auckland

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Upcoming Events

September 2018

22nd-23rd Sept: Solstice U18 Competitions – Wellington

October 2018

13th-14th Oct: Central In-house competition – Wellington

13th-14th Oct: Kiwi U15 Junior competition: provisional as its same weekend as Central in-house

27th-28th Oct: Hawkes Bay U15 Junior Competition

November 2018

10th-11th Nov: Eastern/CPHB development camp 

December 2018

1st-2nd December: South Island Champs – Christchurch


January 2019

19th-20th January: Quarry Champs – Auckland

February 2019

2nd-3rd Feb: Atahua Cup – Palmerston North

23th-24th Feb: Art Deco Comp – subject to outdoor venue facility

March 2019

29th, 30th & 31st March: National Secondary School Champs

April 2019

19th, 20th & 21st April: Inter State Championships – Parramatta Lakes, Sydney

24th, 25th & 26th April (27th extra reserve day): Oceania Championships – 
Parramatta Lakes, Sydney

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Horowhenua Shines on World Stage

Horowhenua shines on world stage

By Colleen Sheldon

Photo caption: Former Horowhenua College student Kate Bolton is flagbearer for the New Zealand Canoe Polo team competing in Canada this week.

Photo credit: New Zealand Paddle Pix/Colleen Sheldon

The opening of the 2018 ICF Canoe Polo World Championships in Canada was an opportunity to shine for a long-time Horowhenua athlete.

Kate Bolton, 34, carried the flag across the red carpet in front of thousands of spectators on Sunday evening at the Merritt Ampitheatre in Welland, Canada.

She was a member of the NZ team which won the World Championships in Sicily in 2016 and this  World Champs campaign is her third.

Bolton has also competed at two World Games and numerous Oceania Championships.

There is strong support for New Zealand with a 32-strong New Zealand team, as well as coaches, managers and about 50 family members in tow.

Coming from a well-known canoe polo family in Horowhenua, Kate is joined by sisters Julie Bolton and Erin Moore as three of eight members of the New Zealand Paddle Ferns, our senior women’s team.

Her parents Peter and Megan Bolton are heavily involved with Horowhenua Canoe Polo Club, Central Canoe Polo Association and New Zealand Canoe Polo Association, and her brother Thomas Bolton captained the NZ under-21 men’s team at a previous World Championship.

Mr Bolton snr said he was hugely proud of his daughter and to see Horowhenua represented on the world stage.

“A lot of credit goes to Horowhenua College for nurturing many canoe polo players all the way to international competition and success.

“It is a great sport and fantastic to see New Zealand punching above its weight.”

The New Zealand Paddle Ferns start their competition on Wednesday morning where livestream supporters can view at home in the early hours of Thursday morning.

New Zealand is 16 hours ahead of Canada and supporters at home can livestream games at two sites:

ICF website or

Sport Canada TV website

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Communications Director Appointed

Kat Graham

NZCPA have the great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kat Graham into the role as Communications Director. I’m sure you’ll all share our excitement to have new energy and passion added to our core volunteers.

Canoe Polo plays a large role in Kats life, supporting her husband Jed at national and international competitions. Kat has been supervising the Paddle Blacks website and social media for 2 years. She also manages the communications and social media at her work. Kat has never played Canoe Polo, instead prefers to watch and socialise from the side lines.

Congratulations Kat


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Paddle Ferns Coach Appointed

NZCPA has appointed Phil Hart as the Coach for the 2018 Paddle Ferns. We wish Phil and the team all the best for defending their World title at the 2018 World Championships in Welland, Canada. We also wish to gratefully acknowledge the excellent work of our interim coaches Andi Fear-Ross and Greg Oke, thank you.

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2017 Award Recipients

On the 9th April 2018 NZCPA honored our players and administrators for their excellence and contribution for our sport in the 2017 year at the annual awards evening. Although being lower key than last year, 124 members attended this evening.

We would like to congratulate the following people for earning their awards, and all of our members so such a successful 2017.

Most Valuable Administrator: Megan Bolton
Most Valuable Coach: Luke Anderson
Most Valuable Referee: Andi Fear-Ross

NZCPA Player Awards:

U18 Men:
Player Potential Award: Joshua Vivian
Players Player Awards: Liam Ward
Most Valuable Player Award: Patrick Bould

U18 Women:
Player Potential Award: Ava White
Players Player Awards: Krista McJarrow-Keller
Most Valuable Player Award: Casey Hales

U21 Men:
Player Potential Award: Liam Bowden
Players Player Awards: Connor Taylor
Most Valuable Player Award: Connor Taylor

U21 Women:
Player Potential Award: Hayley Cameron
Players Player Awards: Kate Blincoe
Most Valuable Player Award: Kate Blincoe

Veteran Open:
Players Player Award: Carl Massarotto

Masters Open:
Players Player Award: Lincoln Mackay

Senior Men:
Players Player Awards: Jed Graham

Most Valuable Player Award: Nevan Hadley

Senior Women:
Players Player Awards: Erin Moore
Most Valuable Player Award: Erin Moore

Photo’s of the awards evening can be found at

Photo credits Samuel Russell

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Canoe Polo stars in the making

Adding more world medals to the tally was behind the first ever two-day training camp for future canoe polo stars, held in Palmerston North at the weekend.

Canoe Polo is an amateur sport which has been punching above its weight in recent years and, despite it being a male dominated sport, it is the women who have been collecting the medals.

Players from as far afield as Invercargill were taken back to the basics including off-water skills, boat skills, game tactics, refereeing and goalie training.

New Zealand Canoe Polo Association (NZCPA) Squad Director, David Morritt, was trying to develop a succession plan, having seen Australia go from gold medallists to underdogs in less than a decade.

“The Aussies were gold medallists in the mid-1990’s and their women’s team got bronze in 2012. We are now the dominant force in Oceania having really worked hard to train our teams representing the different age-groups, from under-18 to veterans, for the Oceania Championships,” he said.

However, every other year prior to World Championships, the applicants trialling for selection are the only ones who get the top training, Morritt said.

“Our NZ women’s team are the current World Champions and the U21 women’s team were bronze medallists at the last two World Championships.

Looking to address the gap, the Development Camp – Road to 2019-2022, was established, drawing in 56 young players aged between 13-18 years old to train in a high intensity environment.

Helping make the camp a success were NZ team coaches, 8 top local players, an accredited International Canoe Federation referee and a large parent support crew.

“We want to give our young athletes better skills which they can then carry through earlier in their sporting career and achieve higher accolades for themselves and New Zealand Canoe Polo. We want gold medals across the board.”

While NZCPA are already conducting selection training camps for this year’s yet-to- be-announced NZ teams heading to Canada in July, spectators can see what canoe polo is all about at the annual Atahua Cup tournament at Hokowhitu Lagoon on 3-4 February 2018.

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Application to attend the NZCPA “Road to 2019-2022” Development Camp

Do you want to represent New Zealand in the future? Are you thinking of playing at Oceania 2019 and then onto……….World Championship level? We share your vision, we can help you fulfil your goals. You have the desire to be the best, we have the resources to equip our athletes with the necessary skills required. Now is the time to start your journey……the road starts here!

We now welcome applications from players wishing to attained the “Road to 2019-2022” Development Camp which is to be held in Palmerston North on 13th and 14th January.

Full details and applications can be made by clicking here.

Please read carefully through the form before completing it and be aware that places are limited for the camp and that the closing date for applications is the 3rd December.

Parents;- We are also looking for volunteers to help with the running of the camp.

Contact if you have any questions.

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Competitions Director Appointed

NZCPA are pleased to announce Jed Graham has been appointed as our new Competitions Director. With a busy 2018 in the pipeline we congratulate Jed and know he will bring a wealth of experience to the position.

Jed has been involved in canoe polo for 18 years and will use the skills acquired running events for CPHB and most recently the 2017 Inter Regional champs to further enhance NZCPA’s competitions.

Jed was co-opted to coordinated the 2017 Inter Regional champs, despite not being able to attend due to the impending birth of his daughter. He did a fantastic job working with all the regions to ensure the event ran smoothly and there was a clear flow of information to the regions.

Congratulations Jed.

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Applications for Competitions Director Position

The New Zealand Canoe Polo Association is calling for applications for the volunteer position of Competitions Director.

New Zealand Canoe Polo is an incorporated society with a mission “to promote and encourage all aspects of Canoe Polo in New Zealand for the future of the sport and its participants.” The Association is governed by a Board of Directors (elected and appointed) and is affiliated to the International Canoe Federation through its membership to the New Zealand Canoeing Federation. New Zealand Canoe Polo has a membership of approximately 2000 people with a further 2000 conservatively estimated to play the sport in New Zealand.

In recent years New Zealand Canoe Polo’s activities have grown significantly. The successful appointee will be required to lead the voluntary Competition Council in the delivery of national competitions.

The successful applicant is likely to have the following key attributes:

  • a demonstrated ability to develop relationships with volunteers and members;
  • proven ability to maintain accurate financial records and prepare budgets;
  • project management and organizational skills;
  • good problem-solving skills.  Please also read the position description.

Applications to be sent to

Competitions Director Position Description – Oct 2017

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