In a homecoming of sorts, talented attacker Kiana Pelasio has relished the opportunity to become a training partner with Te Wānanga o Raukawa Pulse for the 2023 ANZ Premiership netball season.
Born in Paraparaumu, just up the road from her new base in Wellington, Pelasio has, however, spent most of her life in Dunedin where she plied her trade with the Southern Blast and Steel. She is also a former New Zealand touch representative.
A fully contracted player with the Steel in 2021, Pelasio is an exciting prospect and talented sportswoman, who predominantly plays goal attack but in recent seasons has also touched a little on the wing attack role.
``Initially, this all came as a bit of a surprise but at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to be at a new place to grow as a netballer and an all-round athlete,’’ she said.
``It’s definitely a re-set but also to build on where I have come from in the south and the opportunities I had there because that’s my home as well. But this is pretty much a re-set and a chance to grow and really enjoy my netball up here.
``I’m absolutely loving it. The girls are amazing, the management team are amazing as well and I’m learning so, so much and just loving the opportunity. And Wellington is a pretty groovy place, so I’m loving that side of it as well.’’
Pelasio, 24, studied Human Resource Management and Strategic Management at Otago Polytechnic, and has transferred her job at Otago University to its Wellington campus where she is currently looking after fourth-year medical students.
Originally named as Pulse training partners, shooter Khiarna Williams has undergone shoulder surgery and is unlikely to feature during the season while defender Courtney Elliott has gained a fulltime contract with the Steel.
``We were a bit thin in the shooting ranks and with Khiarna’s surgery and others either injured or unavailable, it gave us an opportunity to look further afield,’’ Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said.
``Kiana has exciting potential and is a crafty player who uses the court spaces well, so we’re looking forward to having her with us and further developing her game.’’
The talented Williams was hoping to reignite her career in 2023 after missing last season with injury and will be supported by Netball Central through her post-surgery rehab.
Wellington midcourter Rachel Price and Manawatu defender Madi Thomas, in her first year out of Manukura school, will spend the pre-season with the Pulse as apprentice training partners.
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