Young net­baller’s dream day

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO -

All eyes were on a young Toko­roa net­baller as she stood side by side with Waikato Bay of Plenty cap­tain Leana de Bruin and New South Wales Swifts cap­tain Kim­ber­lee Green in front of thou­sands of fans at Claude­lands Arena in Hamil­ton.

Ains­ley Har­ri­son, 9, along with Waihi net­baller El­lie Ar­lidge-Bur­ton, 10, won the op­por­tu­nity to meet the cap­tains and high five each player as they ran on court through the ANZ Fu­ture Cap­tains com­pe­ti­tion.

Ains­ley, who at­tends Am­is­field School, said get­ting to meet the play­ers of her favourite team, the Magic, was awe­some.

‘‘I got to high five the Magic team as they came out. It was cool.

‘‘They were so strong, they pushed my hand away!’’

The net­baller has been play­ing for three years and says she loves play­ing with her friends at school.

‘‘This was the first time I’ve been at a game and it was re­ally cool. It was a lot nois­ier in real life but it was a good game to watch. The play­ers look dif­fer­ent than they do on TV, too.’’

ANZ head of spon­sor­ship Su­san McGre­gor said many young net­ballers dream to com­pete in the elite transTas­man tour­na­ment and be­ing a Fu­ture Cap­tain gives them a taste of what it’s like.

‘‘We’re giv­ing 62 chil­dren from across the coun­try the chance to be a Fu­ture Cap­tain at each of the ANZ Cham­pi­onship matches this sea­son. It’s a once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence to stand out on court with the pros and hope­fully it inspires a few play­ers to keep train­ing hard, it could def­i­nitely be one of them one day soon.’’

Waikato BOP Magic Cap­tain Leana de Bruin, with ANZ Fu­ture Cap­tains, Ains­ley Har­ri­son, 9 and El­lie Ar­lidge-Bur­ton,10 and NSW Swifts cap­tain Kim­ber­lee Green at the ANZ Cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal be­tween the Magic and Swifts.

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