If you ask Year 11 student Jemma Jones to describe how she feels about Hockey her emphatic reply is, “I just really love it.”
During last term, Jemma didn’t go a day without playing her sport, either representing Long Bay College, the North Harbour A team or her club, the North Shore United Premier team. She has represented North Harbour since she was 10 years old and this year, while she was at first selected for the North Harbour U18 B team, her position there didn’t last long. Thanks to her hard work, determination and skills, Jemma caught the attention of selectors and she was soon re-deployed to the A team. She was delighted about the promotion where she enjoys playing in the backs. “You really get to see the play and help the others up front,” she says.
Jemma is a big fan of New Zealand’s national Black Sticks team and has high hopes of joining them one day. “I do want to make it to the Black Sticks. I follow them a lot and I also follow the Dutch [national] team, they’re amazing.”
A former Black Sticks team member, Kat Moffit, offers Jemma plenty of inspiration. She is Jemma’s coach, friend and team mate in the North Shore United Prems Club team. Kat’s guidance has been enormously appreciated by Jemma, whom she helped to secure sponsorship from Sports First.
Jemma displays passion and drive for Hockey and through it all, she has learned some important lessons that apply to both the game and to her life. “You are going to have setbacks. You just have to take each setback and see it as part of a learning curve.”
In early September, Jemma will compete with her Long Bay College Hockey team in the Secondary Schools’ Winter Tournament. The team won their division last year in New Plymouth. This year, they will be playing in their hometown at North Harbour. “We want to go full out!” says Jemma.
In between sport, 16 year old Jemma plays the Saxophone for the Long Bay College’s Big Band and Concert Band. With lots of practices and rehearsals to attend Jemma is always on the go. Life can be a bit of a juggle at times, but for Jemma, that’s just how she likes it.