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Mariah Williams

Age

29

Place of Birth

Parkes, Australia

Hometown

Parkes, NSW

Junior Club

Newcastle Souths, Parkes Rovers

Senior Club

NSW Pride

Coach

Katrina Powell

Olympic History

Rio 2016

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

Hunter Sports High

Career Events

Hockey Women's 12-team Tournament

 

Mariah's Story

Mariah Williams was born in Parkes NSW, and like many other Olympians she grew up excelling in a number of sports such soccer and touch football. It was at just four years old that she started to handle the hockey stick and soon became very fond of the game.

Growing up, Mariah always admired the work of Casey Sablowski for both her talent and mentoring abilities. While attending Middleton Public School she was fortunate to have former triple Olympian Stephen Davies visit her school, to pass on the Olympic vision.

Mariah began to excel at the game of hockey, fast becoming a strong representative in the junior pathways. At age 13, Mariah left Parkes and moved to Newcastle to attend Hunter Sports High School and be in a more competitive and focused environment.

Mariah achieved her first international cap in April 2013 at the age of 17 during a test series against Korea in Perth. She quickly climbed through the ranks, gaining her first regular fixture in the Australian team in 2015 when she competed in every major international tournament, including winning gold in the Oceania Cup.

 

The Rio 2016 Olympics were her maiden Games and an impressive highlight in her career.

Mariah was born without a ligament in the back of her knee and by the age of 21, she had already had four operations. A cruel injury in 2018 also left her needing groin surgery, this ruled her out of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, World Cup in London and Champions Trophy in China.

The rehabilitation from the surgery included a six-month stint at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Her abundant stores of determination and drive, meant that even when out of the game she loved, she did not stop, she used rehabilitation to better herself and improve her fitness and skill dynamically using activities such as swimming, boxing, bike riding and upper-body work.

Mariah is a proud Wiradjuri woman, the Wiradjuri people contribute the largest Aboriginal tribe in central New South Wales. She is extremely passionate when it comes to furthering recognition around Indigenous culture and was named as an ambassador for the 2021 Australian Institute of Sport’s share a yarn program. Honoured with the opportunity, Mariah hopes that she can help people learn and share the rich history and stories of the Indigenous Australian community.

Mariah became a two-time Australian Olympian at Tokyo 2020, where the Hockeyroos enjoyed a strong group stage of the tournament, winning all five of their opening games, only conceding one goal throughout. This set them up for a quarter-final tie against India, in which they narrowly lost 1-0. Earning Australia a fifth overall position at this iteration of the Games.

 

 

The result inspired the Hockeyroos to work even harder and in 2022 they collected bronze in the FIH Women’s World Cup, during which Mariah played her 100th game for Australia, and silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

They were undefeated in the pool games in Birmingham and after defeating India in a penalty shootout in the semi-final, they went down to England 2-1 in the gold medal game.

Also in 2022, Mariah was part of the NSW Pride team that won the Hockey One League grand final.

 

In 2023, the Hockeyroos finished third in the Women’s International Pro League, before clinching a place at the Paris Olympics by winning the Oceania Cup series against New Zealand.

Ahead of Paris, the disappointment of Tokyo still burns for Maria. “Tokyo is still in the back of everyone’s throat,” she said.

“It is something that fuels me to keep pushing hard, day in and day out. I most certainly do not want to be brought down at a quarter-final in a major tournament.”

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