Captain Shannon Saunders of the Steel & ANZ Future Captains Iri Hollebon (L) & Scarlett Barkley-Smith & Captain Sulu Fitzpatrick of the Mystics prior to the ANZ Premiership netball match between the Steel & Mystics at the ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill. Mandatory Photo Credit Copyright photo: Clare Toia-Bailey/Michael Bradley Photo.


For 10-year-old Queenstown netballer Iri Hollebon (second left), it was one of the  highlights of her life.

Selected for the ANZ Future Captains programme, she got to lead out Steel captain Shannon Saunders, left, and Mystics captain Sulu Fitzpatrick when the two ANZ  Premiership sides clashed in Invercargill this month.

Iri, who plays goal attack for Queenstown Primary School’s Year 5 team, is also pictured with friend Scarlett Barkley-Smith, who came along to support her.

She also got to high-five the players, join in on the coin toss and sit courtside.

‘‘I felt really special talking to the captains,’’ she says.

Having spent half her life in the Far North, Iri was a bit torn when Invercargill-based Steel won.

After playing for three years, she says she loves shooting — ‘‘the secret is to take your time and not rush’’.