Water Polo was established at Sacred Heart College in 1983 by Chris Hayward comprising of just two teams. Since then Water Polo has been widely recognised as a Premier sport at the College and Sacred Heart has won eleven Premier Boys' National titles (1986, '87, '88, '90, 2004, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019), as well as captured numerous Auckland championships at both Junior and Senior levels. The school has also been very competitive at the North Island Secondary Schools Championship level, capturing many titles at Premier level (1987, '90, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019), Junior Boys' (1988, '95, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2020) and Years 7/8 (2006, 2018 and 2020).
At the conclusion of the 2020 season, Sacred Heart College currently hold Championship titles across all grades:
Premier Team – Auckland Champions and winners of the Chris Hayward Invitational Tournament (in lieu of Nationals)
Premier Development (Senior A) team – Auckland Champions
Sacred A team (Year 9 & 10) – Auckland Champions and North Island Champions
Year 7 & 8 Sharks team – winners of the Tim Sonderer Memorial Trophy and North Island Champions.
The success and consistency of Water Polo at Sacred Heart is largely due to the Institute programme, accessibility to the Sacred Heart Aquatic Centre which opened in 2000, access to quality coaches and a strong Water Polo community which is made up of players, Old Boys, teachers, parents and extended families. For more information on our Water Polo Institute programme, view the Sports Institute page.
The Water Polo management team is made up of a full-time Head Coach, 3 outside coaches (former students), a Year 7 & 8 Administrator, a Year 9-13 Administrator, a Communications person and Chris Hayward.
Sacred Heart College has created National Representatives at Senior Men’s level which includes: Kevin Schutler (1988 - '90), Quentin Smith (1994 - '98), Aaron Stockdale (1998 - 2002), Craig Knowles (1997), Richard Knowles (1999), Keiran Hattie (2012), Braeden Drennan (2014), Matthew Lewis (2013-current), Ryan Pike (2017-current), Nick Patterson (2018-current) and Liam Patterson (2019).
Our most famous Water Polo playing Old Boy, Clarke Tamariki, won the California School Player of the Year in 1991 and was awarded a scholarship to the University of California Berkeley. He also carried the Queen’s baton from the ceremonial Waka at Okahu Bay in the opening ceremony of the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
Other students who have also gone on to play overseas include Kevin Schluter (UCLA), Matt Lewis (West Valley) and Liam and Nick Patterson (Golden West).
Mrs Teena Tamati - Teacher in Charge
New Zealand Water Polo