Young netballer’s dream day
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.