Netball youngsters meet their heroes
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.