Teen Khiarna puts in the miles to make Magic

Talented teenage shooter Khiarna Williams is committed to travelling 18 hours a week - after school - to realise her netball dreams.

Three times a week, 17-year-old Khiarna Williams gets picked up from school to make a six-hour round trip, from Whakatāne to Hamilton, to train with the Magic. Her designated driver is the Magic’s assistant coach, Mary-Jane Araroa, who also lives in Whakatāne. Wouldn’t you expect the pair to have long and meaningful conversations about netball? Nope. Williams, Araroa says, is a sleeper.“Mate, as soon as I pick her up and we’re driving out the school gates, it's like she's gone-burgers,” laughs Araroa. “But I don’t mind at all.” The pair have been making the return trip together - complete with packed dinners eaten on the drive home - for the past three years. Araroa has watched the young shooter rise through the ranks, first coaching her in 2017 when Williams made the Waikato Bay of Plenty’s team in the Beko League – the development competition below the ANZ Premiership – when she was just 14. Click the link to read more.