ASPIRE. It’s a word that has driven Newcastle netballer Sam Poolman her entire life, and something she wants the region’s next generation of netballers to do as they aim to reach the top in their sport.
On the back of a breakout season which saw her star for the Giants Netball franchise in their inaugural Suncorp Super Netball season and recently being part of the Australia Diamonds Camp, Poolman has been back in the Hunter to deliver a training program she has developed to help the next generation of netball prodigies.
The ASPIRE Development Program is for young netballers aged 11 to 13 years, giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills over three weeks.
This follows the success of Poolman’s ASPIRE Academy Program that she launched earlier in conjunction with the Hunter Academy of Sport. This program saw the academy’s netball squad take part in an intensive 10-week program designed and conducted by Poolman that not only improve players’ skills on the court but also life skills off it.
As a former Newcastle junior representative player, Poolman knows better than most what it takes for these young netballers to achieve their sporting dreams and she hopes that her new program will provide them with skill base and also inspiration to reach their sporting goals.
“There is no doubt you need great talent to make it to the top in any sport, but the reality is you need so much more,” Poolman said.
“When I was the same age as these girls, l wasn’t a naturally talented athlete. l just knew l needed a great work ethic to take that next step.
“There has been a lot of sacrifice along the way, not just for me but also my family, that has enabled me to progress to where l am today.
“I’m passionate about netball and the Hunter, and I want to pass on to these girls the skills and knowledge to help them take the next step.
“The Aspire Development program is being run in conjunction with a number of associations across the Hunter Region.
“My aim is to provide these young girls with the opportunity to learn more about the game, and in doing providing a strong foundation for these age groups to progress through our pathways in the coming years.”
Greater Bank has partnered with Poolman to deliver the elite junior program. Community engagement manager, Ingrid Kaczor, said they were delighted to link with such a passionate and dedicated local sports star to deliver the program.
“All sports need a hero and for these young netballers there is none greater at the moment than Sam Poolman,” Kaczor said.
“We’ve seen the journey Sam has been on over the last 10 years to go from an aspiring local netballer to a star of the national league, and we are looking forward to supporting her to foster the next generation of netball stars from the Hunter.”
The ASPIRE Development program was hosted by the Maitland and Kurri Kurri Netball Associations over the past three weeks.
Poolman said the enthusiasm and energy of the girls involved had been great and it was the most rewarding part of the program for her.