Kiwi Ferns debut for Madi Bartlett


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Madi Bartlett scoring a try on her debut match against Fetu Samoa


Massey University student recruitment advisor Madi Bartlett made an impressive debut for the Kiwi Ferns rugby league team last Saturday in an international clash against Fetu Samoa.

Auckland campus-based Bartlett has had to overcome a series of injuries to make the team. She was previously selected in the squad two years ago but a series of injuries, including a broken collarbone at the 2017 nationals, double shoulder reconstruction last year and a dislocated wrist eight weeks ago, have kept her out of the sport.

For many such injuries would be career-ending but her appearance on the wing against Samoa is testament to Bartlett’s resilience and will-power. “My values have been instilled by my parents who taught me not to do anything half pie,” she says. “It comes down to how badly you really want something.”

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Madi Bartlett at the Auckland campus


Her first international appearance as a Kiwi Fern was unforgettable, she says. “The stadium was full, and with strong ties to my Maori culture, I found performing the haka very emotional and overwhelming.”
She scored try in the second half, helping her team to a 46-8 win over the Samoan women.  

An all-round sportswoman, she has played netball and basketball at regional level, touch rugby at international level and continues to play tag for New Zealand. The 24-year-old only took up league in 2015.

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Madi Bartlett (front row third from right) and Kiwi Ferns team mates


She is now looking ahead to be included in the World Nines squad as well as the Rugby League World Cup in England in 2021.  “In the Ferns, we have a mantra that a goal without a plan is just a dream and I really live by that. You have to put in the yards, otherwise you never get anywhere.”

She often trains before work and then has team trainings every evening. She credits Massey’s supportive environment and understanding managers.

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