NZ World Underwater Hockey Champions!

The New Zealand Men's and Women's Underwater Hockey teams have won the 2018 World Champs titles in Canada earlier this year.

Women's Team

The event was held in Quebec in July (2018). The New Zealand teams had to pay their own way to the tournament and had the largest supporting crowd there.

Despite the challenge of pools one metre deeper than at home, both teams beat their rivals (Britain for the Women's team, France for the Men's) and secured the titles.

The New Zealand women are world titleholders in 2013, and silver medallists at the 2016 world championships in South Africa (where the men finished fifth).

The Women's team was made up of: Claire George (Captain), Emma Rae (Vice Captain), Paige Morgan, Leah Chamberlin-Gunn, Rachel Arbuckle, Rachel Colquhoun, Christie Whitehead, Rebecca Gatland, Grace McGaw, Abby Vorstermans, Emma Bavelaar and Gabi Steer, with Rebecca Brosnan as their coach.

The Men's team was made up of: Rob Tinkler (Captain), Brendan Maxwell, Liam Watson, Jesse Hocking, Jeremy Webster, Andrew Gunn, Andre Heller, Nick Healy, Ed Firth, Hamish Arthur, Andrew Harris and Ben Paviour-Smith, and Benson Taylor was the men's team coach.

Sarah Arnold, Underwater Hockey New Zealand (UWHNZ) chef de mission, said the team overcame many challenges to deliver this incredible result.

"The pool depth in Quebec is three metres whereas New Zealand pools are two. Teams arrived a week before tournament so they could practice in the deeper pool.

"The heat was a challenge - most days in the high 20s with the hottest day reaching 34.

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"We arrived at the accommodation on Friday [July 13] to find there was no fridge, cooking stuff, utensils, cutlery or plates. By Sunday, we had a fully functioning kitchen."

A wonderful result, making a name for New Zealand in the world of Underwater Hockey!

Underwater Hockey New Zealand currently hold the following trophies:

  • U22 Men's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U18 Men's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U23 Women's World Cup
  • U18 Men's Trans Tasman Cup (No. 2)
  • Elite Men's World Cup
  • Elite Women's World Cup
  • 1988 World Cup Shield
  • U19 Women's World Cup
  • Trans Tasman Plate
  • U22 Women's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U18 Women's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U23 Men's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U18 Men's Trans Tasman Cup
  • U23 Women's World Cup
  • U18 Men's Trans Tasman Cup (No. 2)
  • Elite Men's World Cup
  • Elite Women's World Cup
  • 1988 World Cup Shield
  • U19 Women's World Cup
  • U22 Women's Trans Tasman Cup
  • Trans Tasman Plate
  • U18 Women's Trans Tasman Cup

Photo credit: Nikki Chamberlin

See Stuff.co.nz article here

New Zealand Underwater