World Woman’s Junior Champion 2017

World Woman’s Junior Champion 2017.

Volos, a small seaside town in Northern Greece, was the destination for Kiwis travelling to the World Woman’s Junior Champion 2017. Amongst the 13 players in the Born 1997 age group, four players were selected from Marist, including Libby Gault, Kelsey Snelgar, Ella Harford and u14/u16 coach Caitlin Mary Parker Allen. Gault and Harford debuted in this tournament, while Snelgar and Parker Allen were members of the Born 1998 Youth Womens World Championship the year before held in Auckland.

The two weeks on the other side of the world consisted of a week of training with some of the best teams in the world, followed by a week of intense gameplay that left other countries shocked and impressed at the efforts from the Kiwis. Among highlights of keeping the defending champions USA to 0-0 at halftime, and silver medalists Spain to 1-1 in the first quarter, the NZ team was inches away from making top eight, going down to Canada in crossovers by only three goals. The atmosphere in the outdoor air stadium was consistently high, and Kiwi supporters dotted the stands amongst supporters from 14 different countries.

The skills learnt overseas will be invaluable to Harford and Parker Allen as they go on to trial for the Youth World Champs in Belgrade next year, and for all the players as they continue their careers in the Senior Marist Magic team.


Caitlyn Mary Parker Allen
I’m 17 years old and have played at Marist since I was 11, in the D u12 team. We lost every single game, and in the next tournament I was in the A u12 team who medaled at Nationals. I play centre forward, and throughout my years at Marist have collected more than 20 gold, silver and bronze medals for the different age groups. This year our u18 team won the National tournament which I placed in the tournament team in, and our Senior Marist Magic team placed 2nd in both Auckland and National league. Last November I was also nominee for College Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year for Water Polo.

I have also played for my school’s premier team for the past 4 years, and this year co-captained the team to win Gold at the National School Girl Championships, the first time in St Cuthbert’s history. I have played for New Zealand since 2014, and have played in three different age group squads in my time. Last year I was honoured to be a part of the New Zealand Womens Youth Championship team held here in Auckland, and the New Zealand Schoolgirls team which we won in our tri-series against Australia. This year I travelled to Greece as a part of the New Zealand Womens Junior Championship team.

I am currently trialling for the 2017 Schoolgirls team, and am beginning my preparation for a big year next year. My aim is to maintain the two gold medals in which my teams won for Club and School national Championships, improve our Senior Marist Women performance to achieve a gold medal, and be selected for the b00 Youth Womens team travelling to Belgrade next August. Aside from my playing, I referee for NZWP and coach the u14 and u16 Marist squads alongside Gabby Oloapu here at Marist. Next year we hope to take the skills we have been developing within these two age groups to be competitive in their respective A Grades.

Ella Harford
I am 17 years old, and am in Year 12 at St Cuthbert’s College. I have played at Marist for the past 6 years, from U12 C team through to Marist senior women’s team. For my first 3 years at Marist, I trained as a field player, but ever since then I have played in goal. I have also played for my school’s premier team for the past 2 years. This year I won my first club and school championship. Also at the U18 girls nationals i received MVP of the tournament.

I got into my first New Zealand Squad in 2015, where we travelled to an invitational tournament in Sydney which we won the tournament. Then this year I travelled with the born 2000s to the Sydney for a second invitational. Then i also travelled to Greece with the junior worlds with the New Zealand Junior Womens team.