Net­ball young­sters meet their he­roes

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Two keen young Welling­ton net­ballers ap­peared in front of a huge crowd last week when they took to the court at Te Rau­paraha Arena, fly­ing the flags of the Cen­tral Pulse and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic.

Ai­lani Pe­nese, 8, and Kia Elvy, 8, won the op­por­tu­nity through the ANZ Fu­ture Cap­tains com­pe­ti­tion to meet Pulse cap­tain Ka­t­rina Grant and Magic cap­tain Casey Kopua be­fore join­ing the two teams on court be­fore the start of the game.

Ai­lani, who at­tends Tawa School, said she was shak­ing as she met her favourite player, Irene van Dyk.

‘‘I was so ner­vous hold­ing the Pulse flag but was re­ally happy af­ter­wards,’’ she said.

Ai­lani, who has been play­ing net­ball since she was 5, loves play­ing with her older sis­ters.

‘‘I like play­ing net­ball be­cause it’s fun and I like shoot­ing.’’

Kia Elvy, who at­tends Waikanae Pri­mary School, said she felt ex­cited walk­ing out with the Magic flag as the team came on court.

ANZ head of spon­sor­ship Su­san McGre­gor said many young net­ball fans as­pired to play in the trans-Tas­man tour­na­ment and be­ing a Fu­ture Cap­tain gave them a taste of the spot­light.

The Pulse beat the Magic 54-44.

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