Two young Levin netballers had an opportunity to meet some of their on-court heroes at a premiership match last week after winning a competition.
Ngapera Wilton, 13, won the ANZ Future Captain competition, netting her the chance to meet the captains of the Pulse and Tactix netball teams at their match in Palmerston North on Sunday.
Ngapera, along with her friend and fellow netball fan Fern Tukapua, 12, met Pulse Captain Katrina Rore and Tactix Captain Jane Watson as well as other favourite players, joining them in leading the teams out onto centre court at Fly Palmy Arena at the start of the match and live on SKY Sport.
The youngsters had photos taken with the captains and had the chance to chat with players ahead of the game.
Ngapera, who commutes from her Levin home to attend Manukura School in Palmerston North, said it was an incredible experience.
"My favourite part was high fiving the team as they ran on court," she said. "Whitney Souness is my all-time favourite player and I got to talk to her before she went onto court which was so cool."
The dedicated netballer said she hopes to play sport professionally one day and represent New Zealand in netball.
The ANZ Future Captains competition is taking place across the country, with 94 Kiwi children being given the chance to meet their netball heroes as a Future Captain, said ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor.
McGregor said ANZ was committed to its support for netballers in New Zealand, whether at the grassroots level or right up to the professional athletes playing in the ANZ Premiership, which the bank sponsors.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer this incredible opportunity to aspiring young netballers, and hope that by giving them the chance to stand on centre court with their heroes they will be inspired to keep their training up and put in 110 per cent at their own games," she said.