For Sam Poolman’s family, there was no stone that would go unturned in her pursuit of a professional netball career.
For the majority of her teenage years, Poolman’s parents would drive from their Newcastle home to Sydney and back to give their only daughter every opportunity to realise her dream; a six hour round trip on almost a nightly basis just so Poolman might have the chance to play for NSW.
Her family’s selfless determination and sheer faith in their daughter’s dreams sees Sam Poolman as the first GIANTS Netball player to be featured in the ‘There’s a GIANT in all of us’ campaign.
“I made my first NSW State Team when I was 15, and then got a scholarship to the NSW Institute of Sport when I was 16, so I was looking at six days a week needing to be in Sydney for training,” Poolman said.
“My Mum or Dad would drive me two hours to Sydney, I would train for two hours, and then another two hours home. I would getting home anywhere between 11pm, midnight, 12:30pm, going to sleep and then getting up and going to school the next day.”
The Poolmans did all this without the proviso their efforts could guarantee the defender a place in the team.
“I don’t think there was ever a time ever someone could say ‘you’re definitely going to make it’. I think people could say you have the potential and it’s up to you if you work at it and make the most of your opportunities,” Poolman recounts.
“But Mum didn’t want to have ‘what ifs’ – if she didn’t take me to Sydney, what could have happened?”
As the only Newcastle native to be playing in Suncorp Super Netball, Poolman is proud of her heritage and representing the great people of the Hunter region.
“Some of my fondest memories of netball are from Newcastle and in the Hunter (Region) and I’m incredibly proud to have started my netball career there and my passion for wanting to play professional netball really came from my grassroots.”
“I wouldn’t be playing for the GIANTS today if it wasn’t where I started from.”
GIANTS Netball will co-host a blockbuster Double Header Event on Sunday at Qudos Bank Arena. The GIANTS will take on Collingwood Magpies Netball at 1pm, followed by the NSW Swifts hosting Melbourne Vixens at 3pm, click here for tickets.