Canoeing junior team wins SI division title

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The Dunstan High junior team gave the other teams a good paddling at the South Island secondary schools canoe polo championships at the Waitaki Aquatic Centre in Oamaru over the weekend.

The junior open grade boys team of Nick Collier, Sam Kelly, Josh Scarlett, Joey Vilela, and Fraser Hart were unbeaten and won their South Island division title on Sunday, beating a team from Middleton Grange School in Christchurch 7-2 in the final.

The team was one of three Dunstan High teams to win medals at the champs.

Matt Bonsor, Max Collier, Ryan Shields, Will Nelson and Ben Tubbs won silver in the senior open. The Dunstan senior girls’ team of Sunaina Born, Annie Wardle, Imi Blance, Casey Heyward and Meg Creagh also won silver.

At the prizegiving, Matt, Max, Annie and Sunaina were named in tournament teams, along with other players from Middleton, Burnside High School (Christchurch) and James Hargest College (Invercargill).

By achieving first and second placings in the South Island finals, the three teams have now qualified for the national secondary schools’ canoe polo championships in Feilding next March.

Dunstan High team manager John Williamson said it was the third year the school had finished on the podium.

“Our students don’t have an opportunity to play in their teams in regular high-level polo competition like the Christchurch and Dunedin schools can.

“The fact our students do so well is a reflection of their high-level whitewater and slalom kayaking skills.

“I am extremely proud of the skill level and attitude of the Dunstan students on the pool and their fun, friendly and helpful attitude off the pool. They are a real credit to Dunstan High School.”