Ivari Christie: From School to Professional Netballer

Ivari attended HGHS from 2017 – 2021. Even as a junior, Ivari Christie was destined for great things on the netball court.

Selected as a Year 9 student to attend the Upper North Island Secondary School Competition with the Premier Netball Team was the beginning of a brilliant high school netball career and a sign of things to come.

However, things haven’t been easy for Ivari. In 2019, Ivari lost her mum Sheryl, to cancer. At 16 years old, this was devastating. Sheryl was Ivari’s biggest supporter, and someone who had been actively by her side on her netball journey since she started playing as a 6 year old.

Through all this, Ivari continued to excel in the netball space, determined to make her mum proud. She was awarded a Tania Dalton Foundation Scholarship in 2020, and made the NZSS squad in 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, Ivari was awarded the ”Sheryl Davies Memorial Trophy” for Most Outstanding Netball Player at HGHS (the trophy is named after her mother) and was “Sportswoman of the Year” for Hamilton city Netball Centre. She was offered a Professional Training Partner Contract with the  Southern Steel Netball Team for the 2022 season.

Ivari relocated to Invercargill in November 2021 to commence training with the Southern Steel.

Coach of the Steel, Reinga Bloxham, said “While Ivari was with us as a training partner she showed determination and a great work ethic. She never backed down from a challenge and continued to grow her knowledge and experience of living the life of a professional athlete. Recently, she filled in as a replacement player and thrilled the crowd. She played fearlessly, taking a couple of balls from two Silver Fern players while impressing her teammates and a stadium filled with Southern supporters. Ivari is dedicated to her training and learning and growing her professional habits”.

Ivari has found the transition from school student to professional athlete both challenging and rewarding. She is enjoying the Steel environment, finding it very supportive and very whānau oriented. The standard and expectation around performance in training and games is very high, and she describes it as a conscious and unconscious step up. She is enjoying the learning and says she spends a lot of time in the gym with strength and conditioning, also on court training and learning about game analysis.

Asked what she would like to share with current athletes, she said “Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint.” 

Congratulations Ivari. We are proud of you. Can’t wait to see what’s next! 

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