Media Release – NZ canoe polo teams set to compete on world stage

Paddle Blacks

The New Zealand canoe polo teams who have been selected to represent the country and the sport are set to head off to Europe early August. The teams are on an extended tour from August ensuring they acclimatise and have the opportunity to play together in elite completion before the world championships.

New Zealand is represented by four team the Paddle Blacks (senior men), Paddle Ferns (senior women), Junior Paddle Blacks (u21 men), Junior Paddle Ferns (u21 women). All teams are aiming for podium finishes these world championships. The previous world championships saw the Junior Paddle Ferns take bronze, and both the Paddle Ferns and Junior Paddle Blacks narrowly missing out of a medal by placing 4th.

Palmerston North based James Mitchell has again been selected to captain the Paddle Blacks who impressively climbed up to 7th position from 12th at the last world championships held in France in 2014. Mitchell stated ‘I have been lucky enough to have had a very long and successful international career and I see this current tour really as the culmination of that. At the last World championships we had a new core group of young elite athletes who performed exceedingly well helping our team place 7th. This group’s potential has really sparked the desire in me to continue my elite career; to help nurture and encourage their elite development. I believe we have the skills, desire and ability to achieve the Paddle Blacks best ever result on the world stage. Our team goal is to win a medal at the World Championships. This will also assure our entry into the 2017 World Games, which has never been achieved by the Paddle Blacks before.’

The Paddle Blacks team of 10 are an accumulation of 7 returning players from the 2014 team and 3 players whom have represented NZ on the international scene at Oceania in 2015 where NZ took the gold from the Aussie in 5 out of the 6 finals.

The team have completed their final training camp before heading off to Europe where they train in Ghent before competing at the first of 2 pre-worlds tournaments in August. Mitchell stated ‘We have been in serious training of 12+ hours a week since last September, not to mention plenty of tournaments and national training camps. Our last domestic training camp was at the beginning of July in Hamilton. Now it’s just the hard work of early morning paddle sessions in the cold and gym in the evenings.’ The world championships are being held in Syracuse, Italy 31 August – 2 September.

Media Release – New Zealand Canoe Polo World Championship teams announced

The squad to represent New Zealand at the Canoe Polo World Championships in Sicily, Italy in September has been selected.

The final selections of the Paddle Blacks (senior men), Paddle Ferns (senior women), u21 Paddle Blacks and u21 Paddle Ferns was officially announced at the New Zealand canoe polo premier event finals of the national league over the weekend of 7- 8 May.

The initial provisional squad has been trimmed down, dynamics trialled and fitness assessed ahead of the canoe polo World Championships, the teams are now into the final preparation for their World Championship campaign.

New Zealand canoe polo has hopes of achieving high this year after an extremely successful 2014 campaign. James Mitchell captain of the Paddle Blacks stated ‘I am extremely honoured to be asked to lead this bunch of extremely talented athletes to take on the world’s best teams at the upcoming 2016 World Champs in Syracuse. Lots of hard work in the coming months still’. Mitchell competed in the 2014 Paddle Blacks who managed to increase their ranking 5 spots by placing 7th in France at the last World Championships.

Both the Paddle Ferns and u21 Paddle Ferns competed over the weekend in the National League B grade event in Otaki this weekend as part of their preparation. The Paddle Ferns captained by Jordan Housiaux has 5 returning players from the 2014 campaign who narrowly missed making the grand final by falling to the eventual winners Germany in a golden goal extra time. The team finished their campaign 4th and are hungry to see the podium this World Championships.

New Zealand canoe polo would like to congratulate the teams on their selections.

Paddle Blacks
Jason Dalziel
Carl Duncan
Luke Dustin
Jed Graham
Mitch Graham
Nevan Hadley
Matt Keong
Alex Lowen
James Mitchell (c)
Conor Sellwood
Coach: Steve Hunt
Mens Manager: Lisa Hunt

Paddle Ferns
Erin Bolton
Kate Bolton
Emma Hicks
Jordan Housiaux (c) Genera
Megan Lyons
Jordan Pearse
Paris Pidduck
Olivia Spencer-Bower
Coach: Peter Housiaux
Womens Manager: Jane Bertelsen

U21 Junior Paddle Blacks
Connor Taylor
Alex Nieuwenhuis
Ollie Maassen
Aaron Crabb
Ruifa Huang
Cole Hawkins
Ethan Flanders
Sam Hapeta (c)
Coach: Mike Taylor

U21 Junior Paddle Ferns
Stephanie Dryfhout (c)
Sian Fendall
Madison Gaiger-Grove
Alexia Hinton
Jordyn Pfeiler (vc)
Ella Richardson
Britney Rolston
Lucia Stettner
Coach: Luke Anderson

Teams are subject to final ratification from the NZCPA Board.

World Masters Games 2017

Masters Logo

Canoe Polo will be one of the official sports at the World Masters Gams 2017, which will be held in Auckland, New Zealand.

The minimum age from Masters canoe polo is 30+.

The Games:

The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world. It terms of competitor numbers it is bigger even than the Olympics. Host rights are allocated every four years to a nominated city.

The Rights Holder:

The International Masters Games Association, a non profit organisation based in Switzerland, holds the rights to the summer and winter masters games.

The Shareholder of World Masters Games 2017:

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) holds the host rights to the 2017 Games.

The Funders of World Masters Games 2017:

The Games will cost $34m to stage. $11m each has been invested by Auckland Council via Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and the New Zealand Government via New Zealand Major Events. The remaining $12m will come from registration fees and commercial sponsorship. The Presenting Partner of World Masters Games 2017 is Barfoot & Thompson Limited

The Chief Executive:

Jennah Wootten

The Board:

Chairman, Sir John Wells

Director, Diana Puketapu

Director, Kevin Ross

Director, Martin Snedden

Director, Dianne McAteer

Director, Barry Maister

The Participants:

An estimated 25,000 athletes will compete from across 100+ countries. They will be supported by an additional 10,000 visiting companions and officials. In addition, some 5500 event volunteers will be needed.

The Sports:

16 core sports and 12 optional sports have been selected by Auckland as the host nation, They are – Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Canoe / Kayak, Cycling, Football, Golf, Hockey, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Orienteering, Rowing, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Softball, Squash, Surf Life Saving, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Touch Rugby, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting.


People of all abilities can compete including para-athletes (in 8 sports) as long as they meet the minimum age criteria for their chosen sport as set by the international sporting federation for that code. Qualifying ages can be as low as 25. Athletes are generally considered masters competitors by age 35.


The World Masters Games is guided by the ‘sport for all philosophy of the Olympics Charter which promotes lifelong competition, friendship and understanding between mature sportspeople irrespective of age, gender, race, religion and status.

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