He is a member of the Central Southland College first XV and next year he has his sights set on a career in the army but this month, Nathan Hammond won the province's top secondary schools art award.
He might be more at home with a rugby ball than a paintbrush in his hand - but that has not stopped the year 12 student with his watercolour and etching Tiwai Memory winning the year 11 to 13 prize at the Invercargill Licensing trust (ILT) Art Awards.
''Art's not my favourite thing,'' he said.
''I prefer PE and maths.''
But he has the talent and now that he has received this recognition is keen to continue to develop it.
''I like the thought of art - but not as a career,'' he said.
Nathan had always had a passion for drawing and remembered his first experience as a youngster at Limehills Primary School when a portrait painting exercise ignited his interest.
''I can be myself with art,'' he said.
For now his energy is going into completing his year 12 art board for end-of-year assessment and he thinks he might enter art competitions in the future - if he can fit it all in around his sport.
Nathan's work and other winning entries in this year's art awards is on show at the City Gallery, Don St, Invercargill, until August 28.
- The Southland Times