If Madi Browne’s knees started her netball career, it’s only fitting they called time on it too, refusing to carry her to the season’s final whistle. While her retirement may not have been a title-winning Cinderella moment, but an injury forced decision, Browne left loving the game as much as she did from her very first day. That, and fulfilling a long-cherished dream of playing alongside her sister, proved to be as magical for her as any glass slipper.
One of the finest midcourters to grace the game, Browne’s elite career spanned 15 years of the camaraderie, graft, accolades and difficult times that comprise elite sport. It’s an almost unimaginable endgame, given her diagnosis with juvenile chronic arthritis as an 18 month old baby. Browne’s parents were told that she would be facing a lifetime of pain and disability, but it wasn’t a future they imagined for their daughter.