'Up and down career made me who I am'- retiring Silver Fern

By Tamati Tiananga

Sulu Fitzpatrick is determined to give it her all until her retirement, with a desire to leave a lasting impression.

The Mystics captain says, “I was doing the school dropoff. I wasn’t thinking when I decided to do it [announce retirement."

Fitzpatrick has made a new vow for netball that will end her seven-year-long international career.

“But I know in my heart that’s the right decision and it’s going to be hard when it comes to that but it’s a long time away.”

Road to Commonwealth Games 

Fitzpatrick says, “Coming back from Covid-19, and also my knee, I’m very aware that time is precious, so as long as I am fit and healthy I can put out my best on the court.

“I want to get to the Commonwealth Games and I want to make sure I’m fit, so I can do my job. I am really enjoying my netball right now.

“I’ve had the most up and down career ever. Definitely not a super start nor a dream run but I am more grateful for that and it's good for people to know that, even if you think you don’t have a chance, you do.”

Netball and māmā life

Sulu Fitzpatrick has vowed to play every fixture leading up to the World Cup finals netball - and that will end her seven-year-long international career.

The mother of two, who just graduated from Auckland University with a BA, has new plans.

“I played in five of the six teams in the country and I could have given up any point during that time.”

Mystic’s teammate, Phoenix Karaka says, “It’s awesome, if my babysitter is down from Covid-19, I am able to bring the baby and the team just take the baby in like their own and it makes the situation of being a mum and an athlete fluid.”

Future Mystics leader

Fitzpatrick said, “I did think it was worth sharing so for people to know I didn’t want to drop it on people late.”

“It’s so they [the coaching staff] can start preparing not just on the court but also the leadership roles like Michaela in our team. She [Michaela Sokolich-Beatson] will be ready to take on the captaincy role.”