If anyone has played the long game in their sporting career, it is Jamie Hume.
From Steel to Stars, to the Silver Ferns, the Clyde-born netballer has not only been shooting into the hoops, but jumping through them to work her way to selection for the national squad.
And the 25-year-old, who grew up in Earnscleugh, could not be happier.
‘‘When I found out I didn’t know what to say. I called Dad straight away, and he let rip with a few swear words, and ‘you little beauty, you little ripper’.
‘‘He wasn’t supposed to tell anyone — it was before the media knew — but he probably told about 50 people, but I forgave him. He couldn’t be a prouder dad.’’
Throw in the Covid-19 curve ball, she is continuing to jump through those hoops.
Before lockdown, Miss Hume had plans to head home for a family visit before the Silver Ferns training camps began this month.
She is back in the district, running the hills of her neighbourhood and working out in her home gym with borrowed equipment, in the hopes that life and sport will return to normal.
Among her first memories of netball were watching her mum, Anne, play in Alexandra.
‘‘Probably my strongest memories are at Clyde Primary School. I dug up some photos recently. I’m in my goal shoot bib. They’re pretty cute. I’m in the old uniform with the pleated skirts, and the polo shirts.’’
The dynamic 1.82m athlete has pretty much always been in the goal shoot or goal attack positions.
Upon leaving school to start her primary school teacher training at Otago University, she played for Markham College. She became an Otago-under 19 representative, and was selected for the touring side.
She is a former New Zealand under-21 and New Zealand A player, secured a Silver Ferns trial in 2016 and was part of the winning Fast5 Netball World Series›winning Ferns team the same year.
She was picked up by Southern Steel in 2016, and played two years for the Invercargill-based team but ‘‘didn’t even get one minute on court that first year’’.
By then a 21-year-old, she made her debut in her second season in the final quarter of the Steel’s 75-57 ANZ Premiership victory over the Northern Stars in Hamilton, for whom she went on to play.
Upon moving to Auckland in 2018, she played for the Northern Mystics, finished her teaching degree and has been coaching Auckland Diocesan School.
‘‘It’s been a long journey. There were so many times when I said, ‘If things don’t work out this season, it will be my last’, so I was stoked.’’
Hume is not the first Earnscleugh woman to gain selection into the Silver Ferns.
Julie Coney, nee Townsend, the daughter of an orchardist, was a regular in the Ferns in 1985-90 and played wing defence and goal defence.
‘‘I’m so pleased for Jamie,’’ she said.
‘‘There must be something in the cherries and apricots from Earnscleugh. I am also on the board of the Stars franchise and have watched Jamie blossom this year.’’
Hume is over the moon to be in the squad she has longed to be part of for so long.
‘‘I think it is my time.’’