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Trio in NZ canoe polo team

By Gary Caffell

Wairarapa will have strong representation in the New Zealand teams to contest the Oceania canoe polo championships in Palmerston North from April 22 to 24.

Carl Duncan will captain the men’s A team, Kyzen MacDonald will be part of the men’s B squad and Alex Hare is in the under-18 B team.

Duncan, who these days is based in Palmerston North, was introduced to canoe polo while at primary school in Masterton and went on to play for Chanel College before moving into the senior ranks.

He made his debut for the Paddle Blacks in 2005 and has developed into a mainstay of the national side, featuring in four world championships.

MacDonald is a former Makoura College player who is returning to the international arena after several years absence.

He has also repped for his country at world championships in the past and after starting his club career with local team Marauders, he joined Expose, then a combination of Wairarapa, Palmerston North and Horowhenua players.

They are about to begin the defence of their national league men’s title.

As well as playing for Expose, MacDonald, who is living in Masterton with his young family, is high performance coach for the Wairarapa Paddlers and is doing a superb job in advancing the skills of their budding champions.

One of them is Hare, a 17-year-old who attends Wairarapa College.

He has been part of the Wairarapa Paddlers for four years and has played for Central region under-18 teams over the past three years.

Hare has benefitted immensely from the guidance of club coach Michael Ross as well as MacDonald.

Wairarapa Paddlers might be one of the smallest clubs in the country but has long punched well above its weight.

They have also have four girls trialling for New Zealand women’s age group teams which are expected to be named next week and did well at the Art Deco tourney in Napier last weekend where their A team placed eighth out of 16 and the junior team performed above expectations too.

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