Jasmines a Nancy girl, and shes proud of it!
By Steve Spinks firstname.lastname@example.org FOR the next couple of weeks at least, you can accuse Ballina water polo player Jasmine Collins of being a Nancy girl and she probably won't hurt you.
After all, Collins is heading to France to play for Nancy in the French national water polo league and will also contest the European championships with the club.
It will be the third time Collins has had a stint with the club and she leaves later this month for a six-week stay. "The last time I went over we played in the final of the
French national league but we lost," Collins said. "But even though we came second we still qualified for the European championships.
"I think (in the European championships) we should definitely make the semi-finals, but it's a very tight competition."
Collins' decision to play overseas has cruelled any chance of the former Pearces Creek resident playing for Australia at the Beijing Olympic Games.
"That decision was made last year when I went over," she said. "I was invited to train with the Australian squad and with the Queensland Academy of Sport in Brisbane or I could take the overseas option."
It was a fairly easy decision. On one hand, she could have gone to France and had most of her expenses paid for, or she could commute or live in Brisbane and pay for everything herself.
However, it's not all cafe au laits and croissants. Every time Collins returns from overseas she has to pick up the pieces of her Australian life, including setting up house and re-establishing relationships.
The 27-year-old has also had to put her exercise science degree at Griffith University on hold.
"Basically I come home and start over again," Collins said. "I wouldn't change the experience, though."
In the meantime, Collins has been working at a Ballina cafe, building up her massage business Jazzy Bodyworx and re-establishing the Byron Bay water polo team in the Far North Coast competition on Monday nights.
On her return, the former Alstonville High School student is considering playing in the Australian National League with the Brisbane Breakers from January to April.
But in the short term, Collins is a Nancy girl. And she's proud of it.