Jazmin Hotham was told by dad at the start of the year if she didn't get excellence in NCEA she couldn't play sport in 2017.
The Year 11 at Hamilton Girls' High School was named MVP of the Condor Sevens on Sunday and is the captain of the Senior Touch team headed to Nationals this Friday in Auckland. With a rapidly growing sporting resume has dad change his mind?
"I am not sure, but I was only 12 credits short of excellence heading into the exams so hopefully I get the big E," Hotham says.
Jazmin's father is Nigel Hotham the long-time coach of the perennially successful Hamilton Boys' High School First XV, Touch and Sevens teams. A venture into these codes seemed pre-ordained for Jazmin.
"I played a lot of football and athletics when I was younger. This is my first serious year of rugby and I have really enjoyed it. It's an adrenaline rush running and tackling," Hotham says.
Hotham set plenty of hearts racing at the Condors last weekend. Her thrilling 85-metre try avoiding four defenders on a diagonal run essentially won Hamilton their semi-final against Motueka High School. She scored the first try of the final and was crucial in reversing the first day defeat to Southern Cross Campus.
Despite finishing bridesmaid to St. Mary's College, Hotham was delighted with her team’s effort.
"We were able to say afterwards we all came together and left it all out there. Even though I knew we had lost the final I was yelling right to the end 'we can do this.' To get the last try was important for us," Hotham insists.
Despite her excellence Hotham was genuinely surprised and humbled to win MVP.
"I most definitely didn't expect to win it. There were so many good and experienced players at the tournament. I thought Monica Tagoai, Cheyne Copeland or Alena Saili might win it," Hotham says.
Hotham is hoping for more silverware at Touch Nationals. Hamilton is a regular title contender and this year should be no different.
"Were a young team, but we have really gelled. We won the Regional tournament beating St. Peter's Cambridge in the final," Hotham enthuses.
There are only three Year 13's and six Year 11's in the Hamilton roster. Hotham is the captain and plays middle. She enjoys defence and organising attacks.
"I play alongside my best friend Manaia Waudby in the middle. That's a lot of fun. We really like playing together and have a good combo," Hotham explains.
Hotham identifies Arorangi Tauranga as another player to watch while she expects defending champions St. Kentigern College to present the fiercest challenge.
"I can't wait. It's going to be a really exciting tournament," Hotham concludes.
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