In the build up to season 2017-18 the Deakin Melbourne Boomers are namingÊ8 Ambassadors in 8 WeeksÊand the third ambassador to be named is Sam Stynes.
The love for sport has always been a big part of the Stynes' household, especially following on from the tenacity and determination shown by the late Jim Stynes across his decorated football career. Today Sam is a strong advocate for physical activity amongst the community, in particular for girls and women taking up and participating in sport.
"There are so many pros associated with women in sport. ÊThe obvious ones, such as staying healthy and fit, good nutrition for overall physical health and working towards living a long healthy life," said Sam.
"I'm proud to be an ambassador for the Melbourne Boomers, appreciating each individual player's talent for basketball and commitment to it, along with their team.ÊThe club is such an iconic brand in women's sport and has been home to so many fantastic players over more than three decades."
Sam's own sporting prowess recentlyÊextended to the basketball court, though it was somewhat of a nervous start.
"Team sport for women, such as basketball, brings with it attributes that positively impacts on life. When my late husband Jim died,ÊI was at a women's lunch when a school mum mentioned they needed another player for theirÊ÷F' grade women's basketball team named theÊ" "Weaponettes"Êthat played at MSAC on aÊTuesday night," Sam explains, adding, "I decided that as Jim had died, ÊI really needed to do something to give myself some time and space away from the kids and all that came along with Jim's death."
"Not really knowing any of the women very well, at 40 years of ageÊIÊnervously turned up for my first basketball match sinceÊI was in the Wesley Firsts (only sporting claim to fame!). The women were so welcoming and it was clear from the start that much fun and many laughs were going to be had."
"Call it grief or being incredibly unfitÊI vomited in my hands at half time, asÊI couldn't get to the toilets fast enough, but playing basketball alongside these women played a huge part in dealing with my grief."
Boomers player Bec Cole, who has recently been working alongside Sam to promote the coming Jim Stynes Foundation GROWS event on September 7, believes the community needs more active advocates for girls and women in sport like Sam and her family.
"Sam is such an amazing lady, she is incredibly passionate about girls and women in sport. I'm so happy Sam is joining the Boomers Family as an ambassador, her vision extends well beyond the basketball court or any arena or field, she has seen the enormous benefits from sport being a part of people's lives and she wants everyone, especially girls and women, to experience that," said Cole.
For Sam and her family, front row seats at Boomers games this season is something she is very much looking forward to.
"The Deakin Melbourne Boomers players are absolute role models for young women aspiring to play basketball either at grassroots or an elite level.ÊThe club and players play an integral role in paving theÊway the our future generation of women basketball players and the competition as a whole."
"It is an honour to support the process during a time of great change with women in sport."
To join Sam, Bec and a huge array of athletes at the Jim Stynes Foundation GROWS event on September 7, visitÊwww.jimstynesfoundation.com.auÊfor tickets and further details.
To join the Boomers Family for the 2017-18 WNBL season, purchase your memberships HERE.
8 Ambassadors in 8 Weeks
Week 1: Michele Timms
Week 2: Elyse Penaluna
Week 3: Sam Stynes