Water Polo

Regarded as the fastest growing sport in SA, Water Polo has enjoyed a leading role in the sports department at DHS. Such is the consistency of our performances that, country wide, the sport is synonymous with DHS. Our current sponsors are Peppers & Pans and Travel & Sport.

The age groups catered for at DHS are U14/U15/U16 and U19. The school is privileged to enjoy the coaching of services of Messrs Matthew Nixon-James and Dylan Cronje. Both coaches have been involved in the game for some time, with the latter being a member of the South African team that participated in the FINA World Championships in South Korea in 2019.

The 1st team is coached by Mr Steven La Marque, who is also currently the South African Director of Coaching.

Under the guidance of Mr La Marque, the school runs an academy between 07h00-08h30 daily. The latest trends available throughout the world are utilized in this academy and this has enabled the school’s teams to maintain the competitive nature that it is notorious for.

The Coaching Philosophy adopted by the water polo department is simple:
“There are players from other schools that may be better than you, but there is no reason why there should be any player at any other school that trains harder than you.”

The twilight years of Water Polo at DHS was undoubtedly through the 70’s. During that time, DHS produced several Springboks. Names like Woodcock, McCormack, Collopy, Dowel, Shedlock & Coetsee became icons in the SA Water Polo world. Colin Woodcock (Class of 1976) was rewarded for his ability and leadership in being appointed as Springbok Captain. Added to that, Mr Alan Burt was appointed as an International Referee and to officiate at several FINA events.

The following DHS Old Boys have represented South Africa:

DJ Collopy
S Willis
A Shedlock
HDP Basel
K McCormack
CJ Woodcock (Captain)

J Swart
GS Samuel
MJ Pearson
W Cowden
R Downes

The nature of international competition has evolved into age group events being hosted by FINA and various governing bodies. This has opened the door to several more of our boys gaining selection into junior national teams. In 2015, Jeandré Pieterson and Matthew Hamilton were selected for the SA U18 team that played in a four match test series in Cape Town against Australia. SA won that series 3-1. Currently DHS has no fewer than six boys in various International Squads.

Currently DHS also hosts an annual U16 National Inter Schools Water Polo Tournament. The event, which is hosted in the September holidays, has attracted the top 20 Water Polo playing schools in South Africa.


Over the years, DHS has always been in the top tier of swimming in KZN. Through the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, the DHS swimming team was incredibly successful, winning the D&D Gala for many years. While DHS has enjoyed a strong swimming following, in the era 2012-2017 the school battled to create momentum. In 2017 the entire aquatics program was redesigned and with that, we immediately began to see a change in the results. The school is fortunate to enjoy the coaching of services of Mrs Debbie McLeod of Seagulls Swimming Club. Her professionalism and experience as a South African National Team Coach has taken the swimming team to the level required to perform.

Under the guidance of Mrs MacLeod, the school runs an advanced swimming academy between 07h00-08h30 daily. Her coaching is simply to ensure that the controllable factors are covered 100% correctly. Doing this, and by being fit, will always produce the best outcome for the team.

The school has one swimming team which caters for U14/U15/U16/U17 and U19. The clear majority of school galas have been converted into relay events, which has increased the participation level, however, with that, depth is tested in these galas. The DHS swim team also participates in the Alan Burt Gala (an inter school event named after DHS Old Boy and staff member Mr AJ Burt). The school is privileged to have a 50m swimming pool, which has allowed us to host the D&D Gala in 2019 and 2020.

The structure of the Swim SA events has changed significantly over time. With that has been the introduction of Age Group Gala’s. In the recent years, DHS has enjoyed significant representation in these events, with several swimmers being selected into various National squads.

The following Old Boys have represented South Africa:

NR Wilson
M Bolstridge
G May