Jamie was number four of six in one branch of the vast Troughton forest, having made it through Waharoa Primary and Matamata Intermediate.
Oldest sister Sue is an award-winning journalist, while youngest sister Kate – now a nurse – was head girl at Matamata College. The four boys – Mark, Andy, Jamie and Ben – all have wildly varied careers in horticulture, film, farming and the media.
Jamie’s sporting career at Matamata College was notable only for its variety; he played a bit of golf, dabbled in tennis, won the senior boys’ javelin and enthusiastically pursued fringe disciplines like the 66m butterfly and the 3km race walk. The pinnacle of his rugby career was once sitting on the bench for an injury-ravaged first XV – fortunately for all involved, he didn’t get on.
Luckily, through careful tutelage by an English Department featuring Mr Silviera, Ms Foley, Mrs Sainsbury and Mr Harris, he discovered an outlet writing about sport instead.
By fifth form, he’d covered his first rugby game for the Te Puke Times and he spent school holidays in his sixth and seventh forms working in the Bay of Plenty Times sports department.
Outside of sport, Jamie spent two years on the Board of Trustees as student representative and had an active social profile in the school – at times, he confesses, perhaps a little too social. He was in the school’s Future Problem Solving team that finished third in New Zealand but in an ironic twist, could never figure out sixth-form physics.
After finishing seventh form, Jamie completed a journalism course at Wellington Polytechnic and landed his first big job as rugby writer for the Evening Post in Wellington. He also spent a year at TV3 in Auckland, before returning to Tauranga to start a family.
He’s had frequent success at the TP McLean national sports journalism awards and has recently branched out into photography, winning a Qantas Media Award and making the finals four times.
During his journalism career, Jamie has interviewed many of the famous names in New Zealand sport but the stories that have given him most pleasure have been on former Matamata College students achieving great things – like Casey Williams, Grant McQuoid, Jason Spice, Rebecca Kingsford and Richard Wright.
These days, he’s a freelance photojournalist for a number of magazines, provides media coverage for national sporting bodies and works with top athletes on their public relations and media profiles.
He is now married with three lovely daughters, occasionally finding time to dabble in completely pointless adventures like swimming from Motiti Island to Papamoa and running all over the Kaimai Ranges. He’s also a qualified surf lifesaver, keen mountain biker and occasional surfer.