Developing pathways, inspiring athletes and giving back to the community

Retired elite netballer, Sam Poolman drives positive change as she devotes her time and resources to cultivating opportunities for aspiring athletes.


Aligned in values, passion and a shared vision to inspire change and continually push boundaries, Valour and Sam Poolman have forged a fantastic working relationship.


Poolman, a Newcastle local made an impressive start to her Netball career. Representing Australia in Under 17’s, 19’s and 21’s and playing in the 2017 and 2018 Fast 5 World Series, she showed her leadership qualities by captaining the side in 2018. After initially playing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, Poolman moved to the Sydney to be a part of the new franchise, Giants Netball in 2017. 


As a Valour Ambassador and valuable Giants Netball player, Poolman was proactive in working with Valour to provide advice on the ultimate netball dress in terms of fit, functionality and the overall look for the team. The result formulated a netball dress offering cutting edge design, backed with research and technology to help players excel on the court. In addition to this, Poolman introduced local indigenous artist and Aspire Netball player, Krystal Dallinger to Giants Netball and with the help of Valour; brought her indigenous designs to life for the Suncorp Super Netball First Nations rounds.


Fuelled by passion, Poolman devoted her spare time in the netball off season to establish the Aspire Netball, designed to provide opportunities and fulfil a gap within the netball pathways for regional players in the Hunter. The Valour/Poolman partnership continued to grow in strength over the years and the connection then grew when Poolman wanted to align her Aspire Netball programs with Valour. Poolman says: “Aspire started as my passion project and it made sense to align with Valour, whose passion for their garments and desire to continually improve, meant that by working together we forge our strengths to ultimately benefit the community.”


An advocate for community, Sam was named Newcastle’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2021, in recognition of her significant contributions to women and girls in sport along with community support to Hunter Region communities.


Matthew Knight, director of Valour describes Poolman as “An amazing person. Sam’s drive and passion at every level, as an elite athlete to business founder and mentor for young netballers, is inspiring. Working with Sam in various capacities to assist the community is something Valour is very proud of.”