16th Singapore National Canoe Polo Championships 2014

August 13, 2014 in Featured, News by Singapore Canoe Federation

16 CP Logo

By Marissa Yeo, Player of Singapore Canoe Polo U21 Team

For the first time, the public swimming pools of Singapore witnessed a new sport entering the arena earlier in August. This was none other than the exciting and adrenaline-pumping sport of Canoe Polo.

Canoe Polo (also known as Kayak Polo) is a combination of three sports – Canoeing, Basketball and Water Polo. The tactics used in the game are similar to those in both basketball and water polo, overlaid with the added complexity of the boats. Each team fields five players at a time, with up to three substitutes.

The objective of the team is to score as many goals as possible. Goals are scored by players throwing the ball into the opposing team’s goalpost, suspended two metres above the water level, either with their hands or with the use of their paddles.

The game not only challenges the players physically, but mentally as well. Teams play for two ten-minute halves. Throughout the game, players will have to work together to execute their tactics well and score goals. The team which scores the most goals at the end of both halves wins the match.

The first Canoe Polo National Championships were held in 1998, and the sport has definitely grown by leaps and bounds since. For past competitions, the National Championships were always held in a hosting school’s swimming pool or at the Pandan Reservoir.

However, the 16th National Canoe Polo Championships saw a deviation from previous years. The organising committee collaborated with ActiveSG and held the competition at three public swimming pools, namely Yishun Swimming Complex, Clementi Swimming Complex and Jurong West Swimming Complex, for the first, second and third weeks of the competition respectively.

The purpose of holding the competition in public swimming complexes was to raise awareness about the sport. There was also a special segment known as Fringe Activities, during which members of the public were allowed to try their hands at experiencing the sport.

Participants in the Fringe Activities had a chance to paddle around the swimming pool in kayaks and could also attempt to shoot balls into the goalposts.

There were five categories in this year’s National Championships – Inter-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Men, IVP Women, Open Category A Division Men, Open Category B Division Men and Open Category Women. A total of 39 teams participated across the five categories.

Despite the unpredictability of the weather, alternating from the blazing sun to torrential rain, the passion of the athletes continued to burn on. Spectators witnessed an impressive display of skill and finesse throughout the competition. The courage and determination that the athletes showed was recognised by thunderous applause and enthusiastic cheering by the audience for every goal scored.

During the prize presentation ceremony, each announcement was accompanied by tears of joy and cheers of relief that all the hard work had paid off.

The Guest-of-Honour, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister of State for National Development and MP for Jurong GRC, and Adviser to the Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF), presented the medals to the IVP category winners. The SCF’s President, VIP Mr Yip Kwan Guan, presented the medals to the winners of the Open category.

In the IVP category, both the Men and Ladies teams from National University of Singapore (NUS) emerged champions. Teams The Rolling Canoe Club and NTU 1 clinched gold in the Men’s Open Division A and Division B respectively, while the Ladies Open title was claimed by team The Rubiks Cube.