Born in Parkes in Central West NSW, Mariah Williams grew up loving touch football and hockey.
Williams secured a regular fixture in the Australian hockey team in 2015, after going through four knee surgeries before the tender age of 21.
HSC, multiple setbacks and an Olympic debut – this is PART ONE of her story.
HURDLES (& lots of them)
By Mariah Williams
2013 was one of the most challenging years of my career.
At the age of 17 I debuted in my first Australian junior team, Australian senior team and received an AIS scholarship to move to Perth – but I made the decision to stay in Newcastle and finish Year 12.
My first time out of the country and representing Australia in a junior tournament was meant to be an exciting time.
BUT on June 3 2013, day three of competition in Japan, I tore my right lateral meniscus in training.
Ruled out for the series and sent home.
The day I landed back in Australia I was lucky enough to get an appointment to have surgery at 11am. Unfortunately, things were worse than we thought going in, which resulted in missing out on my Junior World Cup. Absolutely gutted!
Two months into rehab on my right knee I ended up hurting my left knee which resulted in surgery AGAIN.
Three months out of hockey.
I was living in Newcastle at the time and travelling back and forth to Sydney several times a week to train and get physio treatment at the New South Wales Institute of Sport. On top of that, I was training in Newcastle three to four times a week.
There was a time frame of six-weeks where I worked with Christie Dawes the bronze Paralympian medallist in London 2012. She had a hand cycle bike that I was able use during our workouts while she was on her wheel chair racer. It was such an incredible opportunity to work with Christie during that stage and to hear some of her stories really motivated and inspired me.
Whilst all this is happening I was well on my way through my HSC and although I didn’t have hockey tournaments to distract me, I was working even harder at training to get my knee rehab right, trying to stay as fit as possible.
Things were looking up in 2014 after getting selected to tour South Africa with the senior team in a test series against Holland and South Africa.
Mid-February 2014 I was in Perth for a month training at the AIS for the lead up to the World Cup in May.
On March 2, I went down in training and ripped the stitches that were holding the meniscus together.
Ruled out of selections for the 2014 World Cup and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
To be continued…
Read Mariah’s Ambassador profile, HERE.