Jaime Hemmingway (Fr 2020) is on the University of Sydney’s Elite Athlete Hockey Program and is studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy). She is also a star of the winning St Andrew’s Rugby Sevens campaign earlier this year. We caught up with Jaime to find out more.
What’s the best thing about the Elite Athlete Hockey Program?
Hard question! There are so many amazing parts about the Sydney Uni Elite Athlete Hockey Program, and I consider myself very lucky to be a part of it.
The best thing about it would be the elite level training environment – it is very humbling to be a part of a squad of so much talent, with many of the team members in National Junior Squads or elevated to Senior National Squads, including Drew’s Alumni Alice Arnott. We have an inclusive ‘sisterhood’ performance-driven culture implemented under our head coach who is world class. It is an incredibly exciting and inspiring place to be.
Additionally, through the scholarship we have access to incredible world class facilities (such as the TAG gym) and receive copious amount of support academically – including help liaising with UOS coordinators regarding organising our timetable around training sessions and arranging suitable tutor if requested.
How did you get involved with Rugby Sevens?
I grew up playing a lot of touch footy back home (Taree), but unfortunately had to give up playing representative level due to hockey commitments. Last year I played some social touch footy on the Oval, and my good friend and mentor Kristina was organising the ‘Chugby’ (Chicks Rugby) and encouraged all the girls to have a go!
What’s the best thing about Rugby Sevens?
I think the best thing about the campaign was the comradery and mateship – not just limited to the girls in the team, but the whole college community. It was really inspiring to see so many girls involved in the gala games this year. I think sport is really fundamental for developing female confidence, particularly in a contact sport like rugby where females are able to display aggression and strength. I’m really thankful for our secretary Liv O’Donnell – she did an amazing job organising the training sessions and rallying the enthusiasm within the girls. It was always so good to see so many girls from across all different year groups smiling, being active and having fun learning a new sport in the supportive environment Liv created.
Additionally, we are very grateful toward our Drew’s Rawson Rugby team for their support throughout the campaign – taking the time to coach us and also teach us proper technique so we could get through the games without injury. They were very kind, enthusiastic and patient with us and I think it was a prime example of what embodies the Drew’s ‘team’ culture.
How did you feel winning the final after an undefeated campaign and with such a decisive result (what was the score)?
37-0 I think! Very elated. It was a very convincing result and came off the back of lots of training and hard work from all the girls. The stadium atmosphere and hearing your friends behind you in the crowd was really special.
It was then a nervous wait watching the boys game, but very satisfying when they got the job done!
How many tries did you score?
Not too sure! Can’t remember, but all of our tries were off the back of sustained attacking pressure and airtight defence. With the ball in hand of playmaker superstars Liv O’Donnell and Lotte Hailing quite a few gaps opened up for little speedsters like me to just simply finish the job!
Do you feel that St Andrew’s has supported you to achieve your goals?
Yes, St Andrew’s offers incredible opportunities for us students, and the team-based culture permits a supportive environment to excel within. The sheer amount of talent within the St Andrew’s community is astonishing. I am always in awe of the diverse achievements of my fellow peers at Drew’s whether it be academically, sporting or in cultural pursuits. It motivates me to continue training hard and hopefully return the favour in making them proud.
I am extremely grateful for all of the sporting opportunities offered by St Andrew’s and I hope we have set a strong foundation for the Drew’s Girls Rugby 7s team to continue grow and excel over the coming years.
Image credit: Karen Spencer Mum’s Rugby Snaps
Jaime’s image appears in the latest version of SUSF’s ROAR magazine.