Sam Poolman runs the ASPIRE Program at the Charlestown Netball courts.

As the end of 2018 rapidly approaches, Charlestown Netball Association has already begun processes for their representative squads ahead of 2019, including naming next year’s coaches, managers and playing cohort (full squads below).

The announcement of the Under 12s to Under 16s squads comes at the same time as the ASPIRE Program – founded by Novocastrian superstar and Giants leader Sam Poolman – has been operating at the Charlestown courts, giving young netballers in the area a chance to learn from the best ahead of their new seasons.

Poolman’ self-run ASPIRE Program began as a personal campaign the 27 year old national netball star set herself, after battling her way to the country’s top grade through passion, determination and buckets of mental will.

Through the development program, Poolman hopes to give the Hunter an “elite program right on its own doorstep”, and help new and aspiring sports stars avoid the “long drive to Sydney” she herself had to undertake.

“I spent so much time in the car, and travelling to development camps and training, and looking back it was insane how much I did,” she said.

“I was really fortunate that I had the support to be able to do that, but there’s so many kids and athletes that can’t make those same sacrifices and journeys that I made so I want to be able to bring the same level of teaching to them and give them those chances.”

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While many Super Netball stars are heading off on holidays, or simply enjoying time away from the sport, Poolman’s grind is “just beginning”, with dozens more clinics on the horizon in the coming month.

The program is for young netballers aged 11 to 13 years, giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills based around netball development.

It follows the success of Poolman’s ASPIRE Academy Program that she launched 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.

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Charlestown Representative Announcements

Under 12s Squad

Annabelle Beautement, Xanthe Calov, Ava Campbell, Olivia Cullen, Luka Doyle, Madison Dykes, Anika Gillett, Ella Ham, Sophie Leong, Hannah Mackey, Huntah McCarthy, Emerson Powell, Emma Salihbasic, Eliza Shultz, Libby Zarzycki, Zophie Zarzycki; Coach: Gail Mayers; Manager: Kerrie Brady.

Under 13s Squad

Nina Cassin, Kienna Clegg, Shakira Collits, Caleigh Gorlick, Rebecca Hart, Jorja Markovski, Dakota McRae, Elise Mills, Rosie Neat, Jasmine Puslednik, Reihana Ruming-Tito, Ella Sames, Makayla Swan, Mia Turley; Coach: Helen Grogan; Assistant Coach/Manager: Lydia Peters.

Under 14s Squad

Chloe Cook, Emma Cullen, Taleah Dodd, Maggie Greentree, Tahlia Henry, Brydie Hoad, Bridget Hobden, Ellie Mackey, Kiannah Mansfield, Abbey Morgan, Marnie Robinson, Kayla Stokes, Aela Streatfield, Emma Wyborn; Coach: Sara Gilbert; Assistant Coach: Kristy Smith; Manager: Jodie Mortimer.

Under 15s Squad

Amy Aurisch, Reynah Barnard, Zara Cassin, Ciara Croese, Aimee Dove, Amali Fitzhenry, Dakoda Kerr, Morgan McCarthy, Tayla McCarthy, Sophia McMahon, Hayley O’Brien, Ella Ross, Mireama Ruming-Tito, Ruby Sharpe, Isabella Thwaites, Millie Tonkin; Co-coaches: Maddie Taylor, Lauren McIlveen; Manager: Megan Dunford.