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Jasmine on road to Olympic dream

Jasmine Higgs

Jasmine Higgs thrives in high-pressure situations, a useful trait given she’s just been selected for not one, but two, high-performing national water polo teams and all roads lead to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.

Eighteen-year-old Jasmine is one of the youngest players to have been invited by AIS selectors to train with the Pathway to Paris Squad, a development line-up from which players can be chosen for the Olympic team, the Aussie Stingers. Additionally, she has been selected to the Australian Youth Women’s Gold Water Polo Team (Born 2003) and, this month, will compete in the New Zealand 21&U Invitational, a pathway for selection to the Australian side at the 2023 FINA Junior World Championships.

For the Year 12 Meriden girl, water polo is a combination of skill, strategy and keeping a cool head.

“I love to play goalie as it is so satisfying when you stop the opposition from scoring,” Jasmine said.

“As goalie, I have a key role in defence and I’m really passionate about providing leadership to my teammates. But I’m also quite easy-going and this helps offset the stressfulness of the goalie’s position. I have to remind myself that water polo is a team sport and it’s every player’s responsibility to defend the cage. Saving goals can be stressful but that makes it all the more rewarding when you save those really hard shots.”

Alongside her academic study for the HSC, Jasmine currently trains up to fourteen hours per week, with additional hours spent at AIS training camps. She is a member of Meriden’s Water Polo Senior Firsts, Drummoyne Devils Water Polo Club, the Water Polo NSW Talent ID Program and the Australian Institute of Sport. She takes the workload in her stride with the support of Meriden’s Olympus Program.

Jasmine said her selection to the Australian teams was a dream come true.

“This is the first time I have represented the country and I’m so excited to have been offered a chance to do so, particularly since so many sports and tournaments have slowed since the COVID-19 outbreak,” she said.

“All the girls selected to the teams have been working really hard and it’s amazing to train and play alongside them. I’m just trying to soak everything in, gain tips from the other incredible players and coaches and build on my own experience.”

Jasmine has a water polo playing career in her sights, with plans to apply to study at an American university and dive into the world of semi-pro NCAA sport after the HSC. For now, her skill, commitment and optimistic nature make her an asset to any team on which she plays.

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