Janee Armstrong

Janee is a talented allrounder that Hagley is just loving having here!! She has a range of talents and an enthusiasm and energy that quite frankly rubs off on people in her company.

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Janee came to Hagley College this year from Cashmere and in her words, “moving to Hagley was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

She has joined the School of Music and contributes it to having reignited her passion for Music. She was very open during the interview on the impact that the School of Music has had on her. She loves that people believe in her and support her, both staff and students. Janee’s talents lie in singing and playing the guitar and she is building her confidence in performing in front of an audience. Janee is just enjoying the new experience of being in the school of music and taking the opportunities to perform as they present themselves.

Coming to Hagley, after being at a number of other Christchurch schools, it seems she has just found her fit. With a ready smile, Janee informs me about obstacles and battles she has fought since a young girl and rather than covering them up she sees them as being part of who she is and part of the experience is shaping her as the young women she has become.

At the start of the article I mentioned Janee as being a talented all rounder. Her other string to her bow is surfing. Janee, it turns out is pretty good really!

She has sponsors, she competes at Nationals and she acts a role model for younger surfers. Enough said? Well no, there’s more.

It all began with living in Brighton and having a mother who surfs. As a youngster Janee hated the surf, she was scared of it. All this changed at a surf life saving club ‘have-a-go’ day. She got in the water and got up on her first wave. Now, as someone that floundered under water rather on top of a board on my first attempt at surfing I am filled with admiration! First wave? Humph!

That’s where it started. A spiritual connection with the ocean. A sense of belonging, a sense of magic and the joy of the movement. Janee fell in love and that love combined with hard work has seen her compete at the National Championships in January/February this year. Her long term goal is to surf at Worlds but for now she is happy learning, training coaching and keeping herself in a good state of mind.

North Wai board riders pay her competition fees, courses and flights. Seventh Wave wetsuits keep her warm in the water and two magazines have come on board as sponsors as well.

What does the future hold for such a talented teenager? Well Janee likes to keep her options open. She wants to see where hard work will take both her Music and Surfing and hasn’t ruled out a career in Geology as that is another passion of hers. It really is a matter of watch this space.

Her advice as someone new to Hagley – Try your best and respect everyone.

Rowan Milburn
Deputy Principal : Student Wellbeing