The Only Woman on New Zealand’s National Wheelchair Rugby Team

11.28.2015
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Maia, a strong and independent woman, is one of New Zealand’s top wheelchair rugby players, and one of few women in the world who compete at that elite level. Involved in a car accident when she was just 18 months old, Maia recovered from serious burns and a subsequent infection that paralyzed her. Finding wheelchair rugby changed her life.

“I used to play wheelchair basketball, the rugby boys watched me play one day at basketball and asked if I wanted to play rugby. I gave it a go and just loved it.”

She learned the game and has never looked back. Now, she’s racking up accomplishments, includingmaking it to the All-Star team and being on Wheel Blacks, competing internationally. “Travelling the world…that’s my favorite part,” she says being a member of Wheel Blacks. She also represents female athletes in a sport dominated by males, dedicating herself to training and exceling. No one on a wheelchair rugby roster gets any special treatment.

It may seem intimidating to try out such a fast paced and aggressive sport, but Maia encourages anyone to try. “Just give it a go, it’s fun,” she says.

Watch Maia as she shares what she loves about wheelchair rugby:

Thanks to Maia and the Wheel Blacks for taking the time to share their stories and insights.

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