1 NEWS: Water polo heads out of the chlorine and into the salt
Water polo is set to take a new spin in the summer, moving out of the chlorine and into the salt water.
Tauranga's waterfront will be playing host to the country's first ever outdoor water polo tournament, that’s promising to be just as fast as it is physical.
Tauranga’s leading the charge to host New Zealand's first ever outdoor water polo event, and event organiser Danny Kayes says it’s been a long time coming.
“A lot of our players have been waiting for this for a long time and a lot of messages I get are like ‘oh thank god finally’,” he said.
The concept of Water Polo on the Waterfront’s a spinoff of events that've been done before in Europe and Australia.
Bondi Beach’s Water Polo by the Sea's given Kayes the inspiration to bring it home.
“It'd be really cool to see international players here and try raise the profile a little bit yeah but at the moment this is what we got and we're trying to work with it.”
It’s being held at Tauranga's waterfront where the arena is downsized, there are smaller teams, and shorter games - pushing for a fast paced Sevens Rugby vibe.
But players are finding the ocean conditions tough.
“The current is a bit of an issue so we've got to keep treading water and swimming and make sure we stay in the same position,” said competitor and former New Zealand age group representative Cameron Hayes.
“But it's a factor that both teams will have to play with.”
It'll make for good action come February next year; the heart of Tauranga city will be transformed into a water polo spectacle.
“Not many people see water polo so we're trying to create a bit of a fun atmosphere for everyone to come down and watch it” said Kayes.
They're rivalling other summer sports, but before we know it, beach water polo could take a front seat on the summer calendar.