Schools from all over the South Island will converge on Oamaru in early August to compete at the 2017 Secondary Schools South Island Canoe Polo Championships. The competition will take place at the Waitaki Aquatic Centre with teams coming from as far away as Nelson and Invercargill. Waitaki Aquatic Centre Manager Matthew Lanyon says up to 26 teams will be competing and Oamaru will experience an influx of teenagers and caregivers over the weekend 11-13 August.Mr Lanyon says, “Last year was the biggest tournament in many years, and this year it is shaping up to be bigger again. The success of last year, the enjoyment of the competitors and smooth running has meant that more teams are coming to Oamaru this year.” “We have been working closely with organisers over a number of months to again bring this event to Oamaru. We have helped arrange accommodation as well as suggesting activities and attractions for the competitors around Oamaru and the surrounding districts.” The tournament last year attracted over 3,000 visits to the Aquatic Centre and this year that number will increase, bringing significant economic benefit to Oamaru and surrounding districts. The main pool will be closed from 3pm Friday 11 August to 4pm Sunday 13 August, however the children’s pool and spa pool will remain open. “This is a great opportunity for people to come and see a sport that is not often seen outside main centres.”Teams representing their schools from around the South Island compete at regional qualification tournaments to earn entry to the New Zealand Canoe Polo Schools Championships. The top teams from each of the qualification events are eligible to contest Under-15, Under-19 Division I, and Under-19 Division II categories at the national event.