For most of us, being a full-time student and working is enough to keep us busy. But for some, being a national athlete is just the icing on the cake. This is the reality for 20-year-old Massey Student and Silver Fern Maia Wilson.
This issue, On the Line asks Maia how she does it.
What are you studying at Massey and what year are you?
I am studying a Bachelor of Communications, in my third year of part time study.
When did you decide you were going to study as well as play netball?
I always knew I wanted to continue my sporting career after high school and always pursue a degree, so it wasn’t a hard decision when I started thinking about life after high school.
What’s the hardest part about being a national athlete and a uni-student at the same time?
The hardest thing about being a full-time athlete and part-time student is being able to balance and prioritise my uni work, whether it is completing assignments while I’m on the road or having to rush from training to a lecture and back to training again. It always seems like I’m on the run.
Summer Fruits and Mango
Finish this sentence: At uni you will most likely find me…
Rushing to my classes or at Tussock grabbing a coffee
What did you do when you found out you had made the Silver Ferns?
It was quite a surreal moment, as I thought I had read my letter wrong and had to get someone else to read it to me. I was speechless but so excited because I knew it was a true honour and privilege to be among very few New Zealand women who are able to run out on court in the black dress.
Who were you most star-struck to play with and why?
Laura Langman, as she is such an amazing player and person, the way she dedicates her life to perfecting her craft. She welcomed me into the team and would always make sure I was ok. She’s a cool chick.
What do you love the most about netball?
I guess the thing I’ve loved most about netball is meeting new people and developing life-long friendships. I have met most of my closest friends through netball and am lucky that I still get to play with some of them now.
I understand netball isn’t the first sport you have represented New Zealand in?
When I was younger I played basketball for the various age group New Zealand teams and was also lucky to be able to play for the Tall Ferns when I was 16.
How did you find the transition between the two sports?
I loved playing both and find at times I do miss playing basketball but I thought the transition between the two was actually quite easy, apart from the shooting transition. There would be times when I would finish basketball and go straight to netball and shoot a couple of air balls as a basketball is a heavier than a netball. I found that playing both sports actually helped me become a better player in both.
Do I dare ask which sport you enjoy more?
I don’t think I enjoy one more than the other but I do miss the physicality of basketball but am grateful to be where I am with netball.
What is your dream job?
I’m not quite sure what my dream job is at the moment but I would love to be around the sporting environment.
You’re weirdest food fusion?
Avocado and Marmite on toast, so good! I don’t really like mixing my sweet and savoury together so that’s the best I can do.
Favourite All Black?
“Somewhere behind the athlete you've become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back... play for her.” – Mia Hamm
Pass or play:
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If you’re up for a quirky work out there are numerous pole fitness locations in Albany, Manawatu, and Wellington. Sessions range from $15-20
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