Netball: Ameliaranne Ekenasio to return 'better than before' after sealing switch to Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic

Silver Ferns captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio is looking forward to a fresh start, after signing with Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic for next year's ANZ Premiership.

Ekenasio helped the Central Pulse win back-to-back Premiership titles in 2019 and 2020 but was sidelined this season after becoming pregnant with her second child.

Some netball fans questioned why her exit from the Pulse was buried at the bottom of a press release on Monday, but Ekenasio insists she's grateful for the opportunities at the franchise.  

"It was an emotional rollercoaster to come to the decision," Ekenasio says. 

"But it's time for me to go and have a change.

"I really wanted to go somewhere where all of me was valued."

It's been a challenging twelve months for the 30 year-old who's talked openly about her wellbeing.

"Overcoming mental health challenges is a journey," Ekenasio adds. 

"Time away from anything gives you a different perspective. I'm still so passionate about netball, [I've] never been more motivated to get back on court.

And when the time comes to do that, Ekenasio's determined to get it right.

"I would love to be back in the black dress, and I had to figure out where I was going to be best supported." 

A supportive culture, something newly appointed Magic head coach Mary-Jane Araroa feels strongly about.

And while Ekenasio's sad to be saying goodbye to the Wellington franchise, she's excited to challenge herself in a new environment. 

"There's an old saying nothing changes if nothing changes. I plan on coming back better than before and you can't do the same old thing."

For her the ultimate goal is to be back on court for the start of next season and back in black in time for next year's Commonwealth Games.