On the first episode of Season 2 of the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast, we dive into the world of women's sport with special guests Kate Haberfield and Sam Poolman.
A proud Novocatarian, Poolman recently called time on her decorated Netball career which saw her captain Australia at the Fast5 World Series in 2018 and claim a Super Netball championship with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2013.
Sam's most recent stint was with the Giants in the national competition and, similar to the Knights, she shared her own version of the challenges the COVID situation brought forth.
"It's been really challenging the last few years and I've been sharing with people and interested to see how that will impact the lengths of people's careers," Poolman said.
"We spent two seasons, 24/7, in what we call a hub. It was really challenging, not only on your wellbeing but being away from your support networks, and still having to be able to perform under pressure.
"This year for us, we would be in one state and then with an hour notice, we would be packing up the whole team and getting on what we called a 'mystery flight'.
"We didn't actually know where we were going and we ended up spending (time) in five states across two weeks sleeping in hotel rooms.
"It was just insane."
Also in the podcast studio was NBN Sports Reporter, Kate Haberfield.
Often seen at Knights media opportunities, Haberfield has recently become the first female to be announced as Newcastle District Cricket Association board member.
She spoke about her first meeting and the role she hopes to play in championing the women's side of the game.
"It was different. I'm a complete novice," Haberfield said.
"The reason that I'm on the board is, I guess, my expertise in the media but to also help grow the women's game.
"I'm excited to see how that goes but at the moment I'm just learning.
"I will remember to check my second email that I now have.
Haberfield: 'You have to see it, to be it'
The pair also spoke about the growth of women's sport in general over the last few years.
Speaking from years of experience across sport and sports media, the two guests highlighted the key reasons behind the emergence of multiple sports and their ideas to continue enhancing the women's game.
Haberfield and Poolman also touched on a huge milestone for the Club in light of the recent announcement of the inaugural women's team to take part in the NRLW competition.
"I think it's hugely significant, I mean this is rugby league heartland," Haberfield said.
"Sam and I grew up watching the men play rugby league, and we still do and still enjoy that.
"But you have to see it, to be it. So these girls that are out playing rugby league, will be able to watch the Knights in the NRLW and see where they could potential be.
"It's been great, it still has a long way to go," Poolman said.
"We are certainly making some great inroads in our sport, but I'm also very excited that girls don't have to grow up playing netball anymore.
"They've got incredible role models in the cricket, the A-League, basketball and now a female NRLW team.
"We have the talent here, and for our players to come through a pathway here, see the vision that it's there but to also play for their hometown. It's so incredible.
"I'm so proud the Newcastle Knights have supported a women's team and made that happen."
Listen to the full episode HERE and subscribe to KNIGHTS // HQ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.