Indy and Issey

Cromwell netballer nine-year-old Indy Blackadder got a taste of the action when she met the superstars of netball on centre court at ILT Stadium Southland before the Steel vs Pulse ANZ Premiership game.

Indy, a Cromwell Primary School student, won the chance to meet captains Shannon Saunders (Steel) and Clare Kersten (Pulse) and lead the teams onto the court as a part of the ANZ Future Captains programme.

Best friend nine-year-old Issey Colton accompanied her. 

Indy and Issey came face-to-face with the captains and high fived the players in front of a packed stadium – a “favourite moment” for both. Sitting courtside was “so much cooler than watching on television.

You could see all of their footwork and the players up close and what they were going to do,” said Indy.

Issey said, “We were a lot closer to the action. I would rather watch it live because there’s a better atmosphere – when you cheer, they can actually hear you.”

ANZ Future Captains Indy Blackadde and Issey Colton pose for a photo ahead of the ANZ Premiership between the Steel and Pulse at the ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill. Photo by Dianne Manson/Michael Bradley Photography

Indy and Issey, who both play for Cromwell Junior Netball, absolutely love the Southern Steel’s George Fisher and Kate Heffernan. Indy said, “Kate is always in the game – and gets loads of intercepts.

George is an amazing goal shoot. She can jump really high to get the ball. There were moments when I was like oh man that would be so cool to do.”

Issey said, “I like George’s hair, I want a pink ponytail like her!”

When it came to the win, Indy and Issey had no doubt, “Obviously the Steel came out on top. It was really intense. It kept me on the edge of my seat,” said Indy.

ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor says ANZ is committed to its support of netballers in Aotearoa from local Cromwell players right up to the elite athletes in the ANZ Premiership and the Silver Ferns.

“That’s why we’re giving 94 young people from all over Aotearoa the chance to be part of the ANZ Premiership and to meet their netball heroes as an ANZ Future Captain.

After such a tough year for the netball community in 2020, it’s great we can offer this once in a lifetime opportunity to our country’s youngest netball fans and players.

We hope this experience inspires them to remain passionate about their training and to try their very best on the court.”

Applications for the ANZ Future Captains programme are now open at

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