Selectors chose 27 top waterpolo players from schools around the country for the two national teams - New Zealand Schoolboys and New Zealand Schoolboys A - that will take on Australia and South Africa in the series.
Teacher in charge of waterpolo Ben Simperingham says the selection of Year 13 students Ben Goodwin (Peart) and Jake Parker-Allen (Major) is a credit to their commitment to training.
“I’m absolutely delighted to see two King’s players making the NZ Schoolboys A team this year. Both Jake and Ben have shown outstanding dedication to their training for a number of years and thoroughly deserve this honour.”
Goodwin overcame a major concussion and Parker-Allen has struggled with a significant back problem for several years but they were both judged ready for the competition by selectors.
“When I found out I had been selected I was stoked as I had never worn the Silver Fern before or made a national side,” says Parker-Allen. “I have also had a string of injuries that have kept me out of the pool so I was happy the hard catch-up work had paid off.”
“This year I have played for the Kings Premier Team, where we went undefeated throughout our season, right up until the Auckland League final where we placed second,” says Parker-Allen.
“I have also been part of SeaWolf club u20 A team - alongside Ben - where we placed second in the Pan Pacific Youth Waterpolo Champs and the u18A side where we won the Auckland League Competition.”
Parker-Allen is planning to study in the US next year and hopes his waterpolo will help him gain entry into a good university.
“I am currently in contact with a couple of waterpolo coaches over there and it's looking promising, including a scholarship offer from Wagner College in New York to play water polo while studying.”
Goodwin, who has previously been in the NZ Schoolboys top team, says he was pleased to make the team despite his concussion.
Throughout the year Goodwin has played for the Kings Premier Team, Marist Men and SeaWolf u20, taking part in national and international competitions including the Pan Pacific Youth Waterpolo Champs.
Goodwin, who is heading to the University of Auckland next year to study a BSc majoring in psychology, says he will continue to play and coach waterpolo and hopes to make the NZ Men’s side in the next two years.
The 2016 Tri-Nations School Series will be played against Australia and South Africa at Auckland’s AUT Millennium from December 19-22.
For more information see on the 2016 Tri-Nations School Series see www.waterpolo.org.nz/newsarticle/41098
Image credit: New Zealand Water Polo, www.waterpolo.org.nz