Crossing codes no problem for all-rounder
Jared Simpson has crammed cricket, basketball, netball and coaching into his teenage years.
His cricketing skills and knowledge will gain a boost from the weekend when he and six other Southland secondary school students leave to play cricket in New Delhi. It's a 17-day trip involving six games and two training days.
Attending Central Southland College, Simpson is 17 and has played cricket for 10 years - seven years at Southland representative age-group level.
Simpson is heading into his fourth season with the Metro Tigers in Southland's senior club competition. He received the Golden Ball Award last season for most wickets in the 50 over competition. The medium-fast bowler took 23 wickets at an average of 9.78 runs per wicket.
As a 14-year-old, in his first year in the senior competition, Simpson had an unforgettable match for Metro Tigers against Marist. He bowled 3.2 overs for four runs and six wickets.
The feat amazed many, including his father Peter.
"That's quite an astonishing figure, Mr Simpson said. "They only brought him on because no-one was taking any wickets."
Jared has taken five wickets in a match on three occasions and been honoured with the Most Improved College Player Award.
Like most junior cricketers the dream would be to play for New Zealand. "That's my goal and I'll try and keep climbing the ladder [in the meantime]."
During 2010-11 Simpson was in the Southland boys' under-17 basketball team and named most improved college player in 2011.
The Central Southland College basketball team, which includes Simpson, finished fourth in the Winton social league this year. Simpson coaches the junior boys' and girls' B basketball teams at the college.
He began playing netball 10 years ago when attending Otautau Primary School. Girls in one of the school's netball teams asked him to join their squad.
At 13, Simpson was selected for the Southland development netball squad. He is now in the Southland men's netball team which recently finished mid-table at the national championships in Porirua.
The teenager has been umpiring netball for four years and officiated at eight games at the South Island secondary schools tournament in Christchurch this month.
"Basketball and netball keeps me fit through the winter," Simpson said.
- The Southland Times