Nelson teenager Jamie Harris has confirmed her status as one of the best junior rowers in the country.
She has been selected in the New Zealand junior rowing team to compete at the world championships in the Czech Republic later this year.
Jamie faced a rigorous and intense selection process.
“We had to trial for a week and at the end of it we got in a group and they read out the team, I was quite overwhelmed when they said my name,” she says.
Jamie’s inclusion puts her in elite company.
The team includes junior veteran Veronica Walls and fellow Nelsonian Kayla Baker.
“Veronica would be the best female junior in New Zealand, this is her third year in the team which is amazing,” says Jamie.
The team will attend a two-month training camp in Cambridge, before the big dance in the Republic from August 12-17.
Jamie only took to the water when she transferred from Nelson College for Girls to Wanganui Collegiate in year 11.
“Sport is compulsory, and I decided to try rowing.”
She immediately took to the sport from the very first session.
“I love the competitiveness of it.”
Jamie says she has always admired New Zealand double Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond for his quiet but competitive nature.
“People always doubted him and tried to bring him down, but he never let them, and I find that really inspiring.”
Jamie has an intense training regime which includes up to six rows per week.
“I just love the sport, so it doesn’t bother me.”
She has rowed in the Maadi Cup for the past three years, claiming a bronze medal in her most recent appearance.
Currently in her last year at collegiate, Jamie will continue to focus on her rowing career when she leaves school.
“I just want to see how far I can go.”
She hopes to one day stand on the podium at an Olympic Games with gold around her neck.
Jamie credits her coach, crew and family for her rapid ascent to national honours.
“Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Jamie must raise $10,000 for her flights and accommodation in the Czech Republic.
To contribute to her cause, go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-jamie-get-to-junior-world-rowing