Local business people are being invited to have a long lunch with two local sporting stars in Newcastle to raise funds for a local youth scholarship and mentoring program.
Newcastle Knights’ legend, Danny Buderus and netball star, Sam Poolman will be sharing their stories of achieving their goals and dreams at Noah’s on the Beach on 2 June.
Home in Place Events and Partnerships Manager, Michelle Faithfull said funds from the business luncheon provide Grow A Star scholarships and mentoring support to social and affordable housing residents and other disadvantaged youth.
The funds will help them to overcome the financial obstacles that are preventing youth to realise their academic, sporting or artistic dreams.
Michelle said the two local sporting legends will help inspire the audience and young, local scholarship recipients who will be attending.
They will be joined by some local scholarship recipients in a panel discussion on how to set and achieve goals and overcome obstacles.
“Often the cost of equipment, lessons and extra-curricular programs prevents some kids with talents from realising their potential,” Michelle said.
“We also provide mentoring to give young people another adult to talk to and help them in setting goals to reach for the stars.
“Sam and Danny know the importance of having dreams and how realising them can change your life.”
Some of the organisations and individuals who have supported the program, such as Mortgage Choice, Collective Heart, the McCosker family, Beyond Bank, Lush Wealth and AoN, will present scholarships to some of the latest intake of 35 recipients at the luncheon.
Danny is the Newcastle Knights’ most capped player, taking the field 257 times between 1997 and 2013. He joined the Knights as a teenager and played in the Australian Schoolboys team while at St. Francis Xavier Hamilton in 1995 and 1996.
He made his first-grade debut during the Knights’ premiership year of 1997 and contributed to the club’s second title in 2001.
He won the Dally M Player of the Year in 2004. Danny played in 25 rugby league matches for Australia, including four as captain and played 21 straight games at hooker for NSW in the State of Origin. He captained the Blues a record 15 times including during the team’s series victories in 2004 and 2005.
After a stint at coaching, Danny moved into administration and is the Knight’s General Manager of Football. In 2019, he was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Sam is Head of Athlete Development and Foundation Officer at Newcastle Grammar School, a regular Fox Sports’ netball commentator, a Board Member of Sport Integrity Australia and the Founder and Director of Aspire Netball.
She started as a junior netballer at West Leagues Netball Club in Newcastle, making her first representative netball team aged 12.
Sam went on to be in every NSW and national team for her age group in the netball pathways program. During this time, she won five national netball championship titles. In 2011, aged just 20, she won an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship and was also selected as a NSW Institute of Sport athlete for seven years.
Her elite debut came in 2013 as a member of the Trans-Tasman Netball League Premiership winning Adelaide Thunderbirds. In 2017 she was selected to play for the inaugural GIANTS team in the Suncorp Super Netball League, making the grand final and securing the minor premiership in 2018.
Sam represented Australia at the 2017 and 2018 Fast5 Netball World Series competitions. In 2021 she was named Newcastle Young Citizen of the Year.
Last year’s lunch featuring Olympic gold medalist, Steven Bradbury raised $20,000.
This year’s event is being supported by Beyond Bank, Hall & Wilcox, PKF Newcastle, Broadley Signs and Noah’s on the Beach.
When Hunter based community housing provider Home in Place established Grow A Star in 2012, it was a first of its kind program in its sector in Australia. Since then, it has supported hundreds of young people over the past decade.
Support is available to any young person between the ages of 10 -18, engaged in education, training or employment who can demonstrate a need for assistance.
IMAGE | Danny Buderus and Sam Poolman (left-right).