The journey of White Fern Jess Watkin struck a chord with both girls and boys when she talked at both Whanganui Girls College and Cullinane College on Tuesday.

As part of her payback to her mentors at Cricket Whanganui, Watkin gave brief presentations at both colleges in the hope of inspiring teenagers to join a sport that has given her a career.

Watkin gave a verbal presentation of her debut for the White Ferns on the Northern Hemisphere Tour of Ireland and England, a tour that included a tri series with England and South Africa. She backed her presentation with video of some of her best moments with and and ball.

"Coming from a small town it is possible to get on the big stage and that's what happened to me," Watkin told students.


"Over the years I have been told by many that I need to move to Wellington, Auckland or Christchurch if I am to get ahead in the game, but I am living proof you can make it from Whanganui. The women's game has grown so much in recent years and I have now got a contract with Cricket New Zealand, it is my job to play cricket.

"I have just returned from Ireland and England and soon I will travel to Australia to play, then the T20 World Cup in the Carribean to play on a tropical island - that's pretty cool.
Then India come here to play over our summer.

"I started young, but it's not too late. If you are keen on sport I can thoroughly recommend cricket, they really look after you," Watkin said.

Watkin's hometown coach and mentor Dilan Raj said the response was great with students taking up an invite to talk to Watkin after her presentations and to sign up with Cricket Whanganui.

"We will follow that up with practical hands-on cricket sessions within each school's sporting programmes," Raj said.