Parade possible for winning Magic

By Hayden Donnell

Magic players celebrate after winning the ANZ Championship. Mark McKeown/Musae Studios
Magic players celebrate after winning the ANZ Championship. Mark McKeown/Musae Studios

A victory parade is on the cards for the trans-Tasman netball championship-winning Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic.

The team, which beat out the Melbourne Vixens in a nail biting come-from-behind final last night, is set to arrive back at Auckland International Airport at 12pm today.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said many local fans were heading to Auckland to welcome the team home.

The city was planning to hold a more elaborate outdoor celebration midweek if weather permits, she said.

That could include a parade and a public gathering with the team in the central square of the city.

"We're working out the plan right now. We're on the phone to the team trying to work out what we're going to do - what's the best way to celebrate.

"It was a fantastic game. A heart stopper. That last quarter was hard to watch but they came through."

The victory celebration could be held in the Claudelands Events Centre if rain keeps falling throughout the week, Ms Hardaker said.

She said it could be similar to the event held for the city's Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks, with speeches and stories from the team.

The Magic overcame sizeable odds to become the first New Zealand team to win the trans-Tasman league crown.

The team rattled off a series of 11 straight victories after languishing out of playoff contention in the early part of the competition.

Star shooter Irene van Dyk played the semi-final and final rounds despite grieving the death of her mother.

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