The 2017 South African Canoe Polo championships take place at Homestead Lake in Benoni this weekend, with 14 teams from around the country contesting the national honours.
The event will take place at East Rand Kayak for the first time, following a successful tournament held at Shongweni Dam, KwaZulu-Natal last year.
The number of teams at the competition has been increased by two from last year’s event, a sure sign of growing interest in the sport.
The major provinces that compete in canoe polo are KwaZulu-Natal, Western Province and Gauteng. The side from KZN will be hoping that they can repeat their title winning efforts from last year across the Senior Men’s, Women’s and Under-15 categories.
There will be three divisions at the tournament, Senior Men’s, Under-23 Men and Women and Under-15. The numbers in the Under-15 category have impressed South African Canoe Polo Chairman Chris de Bree.
‘This is the first time in South Africa that we will be running two pitches over the weekend and this is a reflection on the growing numbers starting out in the sport, which is encouraging for us.’
The inter-provincial contest will not have an influence on the national side, as those teams have already been selected for the African championships coming up in April in Namibia.
‘The African Championships are going to take place in Windhoek this year and we have put together three senior sides – a Men’s and Men’s B Team as well as a Senior Women’s team.
‘In the junior ranks we have an Under-21 Men’s team, and Under-21 Ladies team, as well as a mixed Under-15 side,’ De Bree added.
In the picture Dean Ollerman (left) and Nicholas Weeks (right) fight it out during the recent South African canoe polo trials. Picture: Laurel Oettle/Gameplan Media