Jamina Roberts: "Partille Cup has been part of my upbringing"
Jamina Roberts has passed 200 matches and 500 goals for the national team and been named player of the year in Swedish handball. Now she's preparing for the Champions League quarterfinals with the big team Vipers Kristiansand.
It has been a busy season for the 32-year-old from Gothenburg, who looks back on all the years as a Partille Cup player with great joy.
– Partille Cup has been a part of my upbringing, says the national team star.
It has been a fine season for Jamina Roberts, who for the second year in a row has been named player of the year in Sweden.
– It has been a different season because of the fact that the championship was earlier than usual and that I have changed teams and tried to adapt and get into it. It's been quite a lot new so I'm pretty exhausted, haha. I've barely had time to reflect. But it has gone perfectly fine. We won the group in the Champions League and will play in the quarterfinals. It's been going well for the team and I'm part of it, says Jamina Roberts.
Before the season, she changed IK Sävehof to Vipers Kristiansand. She changed from the world's best club to the world's best team, as she herself put it. So what is it like to represent a team that has won the Champions League the last two seasons?
– It's a quite small place but a big team. I feel good here. I play less now but I was ready for that, so it was as expected. You always want to play, but there is a completely different width here and you have the opportunity to leave the pitch if you need to. Although there have been many games, it feels like fewer games have been played now. The body becomes less tired.
She's happy to have passed 200 games and 500 goals in the national team kit, but these milestones are not something she thinks much about right now.
– I will be very pleased and proud of it later when I retire. Now it's just things in motion. When things like that happen to others, I think it's a big deal, but when it happens to me, I just keep going. I'm proud but not satisfied. I don't care too much about it right now, but will later. It's hard to enjoy it now, which is a bit of a shame. I'll keep going as long as I can!
Full focus is on getting to the Final 4 with the club team.
– That is the big goal. Once there, you want to win, but we have to get there first. Regarding the national team, a championship at home awaits. We're very much looking forward to that. There is a long way to go but we've already started to prepare and hope to perform great there. But first I'm going to have a lot of time off this summer and try to get some energy. You're not so cheeky now at the end of April, she says with a smile.
If Vipers Kristiansand makes it there, it will be the first time she gets to play in the Final 4.
– I've never played in a team that has had the chance before. Of course, it would be fantastic to do that, says Jamina Roberts.
The World Championship at home begins in the end of November. If the Gothenburg native participates, it will be her 16th major championship.
– It was special the last time there was a championship at home (The European Championship 2016, Sweden went out in the intermediate round), but it was not something you wanted to remember. To play at home has a lot of advantages. We will hopefully have some audience cheering us on, which is nice.
Speaking of home ground, Partille Cup is close to her heart. She played the tournament countless times as a junior and young senior.
– Partille Cup has been a part of my upbringing. As a Sävehof player, you had to work hard before the tournament. We got to paint lines and many other things. Partille Cup was part of the summer vacation. It's a great tournament where every day has its charm. One day it can be very hot and people get sunstroke and the next day it can be pouring rain and you can barely hold the ball. Heden is at its finest during Partille Cup. The whole thing of being there and hanging out is the best thing about the tournament. It was fun to play your own matches, but it was just as fun to watch other matches, says Jamina Roberts.
She won Partille Cup when it was time for the older age categories.
– It's very difficult to win Partille Cup. We never won the years you wanted to win. It would have been bigger to win when you were 15-16 years old. In the oldest classes, there are not as many teams, but of course it's still fun to win. A win is a win, she says.
Partille Cup wishes Jamina the best of luck during the final phase of the season and hopes to see her at Heden this summer!