Jemma turns up the heat on ice
WITH the warm months rolling around, most Coffs Coast sportspeople are preparing for sports like cricket, swimming or surf lifesaving . . . but not Jemma Scotford.
Jemma is getting ready for a huge month on the ice.
The 20-year-old is making big strides in the national ice hockey arena and has been selected in the national selects squad ? a development program which could lead to Australian selection.
Jemma will spend four days training with the national selects squad and will then take part in the national titles at Canterbury.
Jemma sees the coming month as a massive move towards her goal of representing Australia at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
"It is a big stepping stone and I am very excited," she said.
"I don't really know what to expect, so I am a bit nervous and anxious.
"There are a lot of mixed emotions."
Jemma has only been skating for five years, but doesn't see her rise to the top as meteoric.
"Not really, there are a lot of Canadian players at the Big Banana (ice rink) and I have learnt a lot from them," she said.
"But I never expected to make the national selects side."
Jemma has tried her hand at a number of sports, but none have captivated her like ice hockey.
"I was hooked from the first time I payed it," she said.
"I have played a lot of sports before, but this is the most addictive."
Although Jemma plays for Coffs Harbour, she will represent Queensland at the national championships.
She said the Queenslanders will face a tough week of competition, but is confident of a good showing.
"South Australia are the strongest State at the moment, but I am very optimistic we will give it a good shot," she said.
Owner of the Big Banana ice rink, Kevin Ruby, was full of praise for Jemma and her achievement.
"We have had good results in figure skating and other forms of ice sports before, but we have never reached the heights we have with Jemma," he said.
"It is an enormous achievement and we are very proud of her."