Mariah Williams may only be 20, but she is already a shining light for the Hockeyroos. She was born in Parkes and at age four was given a hockey stick. Mariah never looked back.
This superstar of the game has since gone on to have 21 caps and score three goals. Mariah generally plays in the forward position and moved to Newcastle when she was 13. In February 2015 she got her call up to the Hockeyroos (aged 17) against South Korea in Perth. However, soon after she had to have knee operations on both her knees due to varying problems.
“I was born without a ligament in the back of the knee. I had to have three knee surgeries on one of the junior trips and that put me out about a year and a half.”
As part of her rehabilitation she did lots of swimming, boxing, and bike riding. Mariah also did a lot of upper-body work to get back her fitness.
Mariah came back the end of 2014 after completing her Higher School Certificate and played in a few New South Wales tournaments. She then got picked for the national squad. Earlier in the year she played in a three-Test series against China in Sydney. Mariah scored in the third game.
“The series was pretty good. I think the team could have been a lot stronger. I think we could have put it over China a bit more (but) different team- we had a lot of girls debuting. It was a good series.”
She enjoys representing Australia but still feels she does “have a lot to learn.” Her main mentor is the experienced Casey Eastham.
Mariah says the Hockeyroos “normally train from 9-12(am) on the pitch and then gym in the afternoon.”
More recently the team was in Antwerp, Belgium for the World League semi-final. She scored in the tournament and shows great promise in the lead up to next years Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Hockeyroos finished third at the tournament ensuring their place at the Olympics.
“Going over there made me realise how much more I want it. It made me think that Rio is a year away and I definitely want to go to Rio and win gold.”