Twelve months after being selected for the New Zealand U18 Water polo team to compete at the FINA Women’s Youth Water polo World Championships in Madrid, Spain, Grace Tobin was selected to represent New Zealand in the FINA Women’s Junior Water polo World Championships held in Volos, Greece in August 2015.

Grace, 18, lives in Auckland, where she is a year 13 student at Kristin School.

This championship event in Volos was preceded by a pre-tournament in Manchester in the United Kingdom.

The team of 11 girls, aged 20 and under from all over New Zealand, have been training for the past 18 months. They come together for regular monthly camps, on top of their normal training and game schedules, which are fitted around their school and university commitments.

The NZ team finished up in 10th place, after a monster battle with the Australian Junior Women’s team for the ninth and 10th positions.

The New Zealand girls were happy with the result as the Australian Government have heavily invested in their women’s water polo teams with an eye to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, whereas NZ water polo teams are all “user pays,” so funding comes straight from the player and parents pockets, along with some serious fundraising.

Grace, from the Wairarapa Hume/Bradshaw whānau (with whakapapa ties to Moeraki and Puketeraki), follows other family members in being chosen to represent her country.

Grace in action during a match against Mexico.

Grace in action during a match against Mexico.

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