Following a 17 year-long career with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, respected netballer Casey Kopua will call it quits at the end of the 2019 ANZ Premiership season.
Kopua, who will retire from all netball at the end of this year, is a New Zealand netball stalwart and will leave behind a rich legacy in the sport.
She has dedicated her netball career solely to the Waikato Magic side, joining the team in 2003 alongside Laura Langman.
Kopua is one of the sport’s best ever defenders, a Silver Ferns captain and centurion.
While playing for the squad, she won two National Bank Cup titles, an ANZ Championship title and two ANZ Championship New Zealand conference titles.
“This next six months is the biggest six months for me because after that, that's it," says Kopua, "The only difference is this time it's for good. My mind is willing, but my body isn't.”
“I have had the best career with Magic. I have grown as a person and a player. Thanks so much for all the opportunities, all the friendships and all the support over the years. Magic will always be a part of me,” she says.
Magic head coach Amigene Metcalfe says Kopua has always been a team player.
“Casey is certainly synonymous with Magic Netball and it’s with great pride I’ve been able to watch her growth as a teammate, coach and friend.
“From early on it was obvious to see her potential but what she has given to netball in the region, nationally and internationally has been huge. She is a true competitor, a loyal team member and I’m sure she’ll be determined to make this year her best one yet.”
Netball Waikato Bay of Plenty Chief Executive Rohan West also paid tribute to Kopua.
“Casey is Magic and Magic is Casey. She’s a living legend. It’s as simple as that. The history and legacy of this team wouldn’t be what it is without her. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with her,” he says.
“The phrase 'mana wahine' could have been coined for Casey. I strongly urge all Magic supporters and general sports fans to come to our home games this season to see Casey in action."