STEVE and Liz Pollerd didn’t let something as trivial as 3,492 kilometres get in the way of watching their girl shine on the national stage.
They had a taste of watching their daughter Olivia take to the Victoria Country jersey last year at Kilsyth… and decided to do it again.
To pack up, hit the skies and follow her across the Nullarbor and they couldn’t be happier with that decision.
The Victorian family network at the Under 16 Australian Junior Championships has been nothing short of extraordinary. From the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters – many players have had that support.
Those people who are there to pat you on the back, only there to give you a hug and especially there to tell you the world isn’t over with every missed shot.
The Pollerds, from Mt Martha, are one of many families who have made this trip to the AJCs and it’s to their credit as the Victorian crowds have livened things up. It’s always nice to hear familiar cheers provide colour and contrast to the five days of competition… and they will only get louder, prouder and more excited as we rocket towards the final day’s action on Saturday.
From Southern Peninsula Sharks all the way to the Victoria Country uniform, it’s been an amazing journey already for their daughter Olivia and one the Pollerd family wanted to see every step of the way.
“She was in the team last year in Melbourne which was just a fantastic week – we’d never experienced anything like it before,” Steve Pollerd said. “And then to have the opportunity again this year and also be travelling with the girls – meeting them at the airport and flying out to another state, it’s been totally different to last year.
“It’s been great for the parents too – we’ve been having dinner every night and caught up and done some of the touristy stuff as well.”
Victoria Metropolitan and Victoria Country kids alike have got to see mum and dad at the end of the day, spend a little bit of time with them and most importantly – feel a little bit more at home while taking on the best from the nation.
That’s a fairly significant boost for the children and the amazing feeling of seeing your kid star in the state colours can never get old.
While it isn’t something everyone can do, with unavoidable work and family commitments inevitably halting plans for a lot of families this week, Pollerd said it their first priority and encouraged all other high performance parents to make it theirs too.
“I can’t rave highly enough about it – would not be missed and for any parent, if their children are lucky enough to be involved in this, don’t miss it,” Pollerd said. “It’s worth the effort to make sure you get here – I know there are a few parents, due to work commitments, who haven’t been able to make it and they’re devastated.
“They’re on the phone every few minutes the whole time, getting info backwards and forwards – but I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
“Of all of the basketball you watch all year, this is the pinnacle – there’s not a bad game and there’s not a bad player – they can all play and it’s really enjoyable to watch.”
It’s always something to keep in mind as a basketball parent – each team made is worth celebrating and ensuring you’re there as your child’s number one supporter if all the pieces fall into place.
You never know how far you’ll travel to watch them play – from down the road, to the next state to the far corners of the world if they’re lucky enough to grasp an international opportunity.
Being up close to that joy is an immeasurable feeling… but you’ll have to experience it yourself if that extraordinary opportunity rolls around for your family.