Knee down, courage up – Ben Gardner

College Sport Media:

In June 2016, Ben Gardner returned home from school with a badly swollen knee. No strenuous physical activity or unusual symptoms had signalled this aliment could occur, but it was serious.

“I went to the doctor straight away and was diagnosed with Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee or OCD. Don’t ask me how to spell that, but basically the cartilage underneath my knee cap was separating,” the Year 12 student at Sacred Heart College, Auckland recalls.

A knee brace was attached and the prospects of resuming water polo were bleak.

“My rehabilitation took 18 months and has required four surgeries. It was tough,” Gardner complains.

Ben’s father Peter Gardner was one of the first New Zealand players to earn a water polo scholarship to a US university when he represented California State between 1988 and 1990.

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College Sport Auckland Premier Finals:

Friday 6 April at National Aquatic Centre
2.30pm: Rangitoto Premier Boys v Rosmini A (Premier Boys Bronze)
3.30pm: Rangitoto Premier Girls v Carmel A (Premier Girls Bronze)

Saturday 7 April at National Aquatic Centre
2.30pm: Sacred Heart A1 v Saint Kentigern Premier Boys (Premier Boys Final)
3.30pm: Diocesan A v St Cuthbert’s A (Premier Girls Final)