App for linking sports

Waterboy promoters (from left) Ma'a Nonu, Kees Meeuws and Tamati Ellison in Dunedin yesterday....
Waterboy promoters (from left) Ma'a Nonu, Kees Meeuws and Tamati Ellison in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

The developers of a Dunedin-designed social media platform believe it could revolutionise sports connectivity.

The Waterboy phone app was announced by a trio of past and present All Blacks in Dunedin yesterday.

''It's an interactive phone application that allows users to stream sports events in text and pictures,'' Waterboy director Kees Meeuws said.

''I'm very excited about it. There's nothing around like this. It's a social media platform for all ball sports.

''It means grandparents and parents who don't live nearby can keep in touch with their whanau in other areas of the country and the world.''

Waterboy was developed out of Mr Meeuws' desire to follow his own children's sports while he was away on All Black duty.

''You travel so much with rugby and other professional sports and I always thought how cool it would be if you could keep track of your kids' sports while you were away.

''It's streaming non-professional sports that don't get media coverage. The media is all about pro sports, but all professional players were once amateur players doing it for the love of the game,'' he said.

''You might be commentating on a game and have the mother of an opposition player join in your comments. It promotes banter among the spectators, rather than just screaming at the referee.

''It also integrates all existing social media, so clubs and organisations can use it to contact players about things like cancellations, rather than having to ring everybody.''

The app was developed in Dunedin last April and had been refined over the past year.

''We came up with the concept first and the name second. I was running water for the Highlanders at the time and Waterboy seemed like the perfect name, because the closest person to the action is the waterboy,'' Mr Meeuws said.

There was potential to develop the product internationally.

''But we want to look after our own backyard first. It's a Dunedin-based company. We're from here and this is where the concept was born.''

Mr Meeuws has recruited Highlanders and All Blacks Tamati Ellison and Ma'a Nonu to promote the app.

''I've got a nephew playing under-12s rugby and nieces playing netball back in Wellington. Waterboy means I can follow their games every weekend and keep in touch with them.''

The app was expected to be live by the first week in March, for the start of the Dunedin club rugby season, Mr Meeuws said.


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