Travis Boak wins Jim Stynes Community Award
TORQUAY-born Travis Boak’s long-running efforts to help children and families affected by cancer have seen him win this year’s Jim Stynes Community Award.
Boak, who lost his father Roger to cancer in 2005, has been an ambassador for the Childhood Cancer Association (CCA) for the past 11 years.
The 300-game Port Adelaide star provides hands-on volunteering, attending fortnightly visits to the Michael Rice Centre for Haematology and Oncology to spend time with the children as a welcome distraction from the challenges they face.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Boak has continued to have a significant influence as a volunteer, connecting with children and families virtually, while he has also been a key driver in the organisation’s fundraising efforts, raising more than $22,000 this year.
Through Boak’s leadership, he has also initiated a charity partnership between the Childhood Cancer Association and the Port Adelaide Football Club, which provides an opportunity to raise the profile of the organisation and allow for sustainable fundraising efforts to help provide services for individuals and families.
Boak was presented with his award – named in honour of the late former Melbourne Football Club president and player Jim Stynes – at the Brownlow Medal count in Perth on Sunday night.
He said it was special to be considered worthy of the award.
“I didn’t get to know the great Jim but obviously he’s left a great legacy within the AFL and the wider community,” he said.
“It is a great honour. You don’t do the stuff we do to get recognition but there’s so many good people in the AFL and AFLW doing great things so it is a great honour.
“We play footy to win premierships and achieve our goals but at the end of the day we’re just here to be great humans and athletes second.
“To the CCA, the Childhood Cancer Association, what you do for so many sick kids and their families is incredible and I’m just fortunate to come along for the ride.
“(I’d like to thank) the Port Adelaide Football Club and the players there for supporting me and that community as well along the journey.”
Boak’s award means the CCA will receive $40,000 thanks to Telstra, the AFL and the Jim Stynes Foundation.
AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan said Boak was an outstanding ambassador for the game and the Port Adelaide Football Club.
“He is a values-driven person whose commitment to helping children and families impacted by cancer showcases his passion to help others in need and leave a positive legacy that extends beyond his achievements on the football field,” he said.
Geelong Cats AFLW player Georgie Rankin was a runner-up in this year’s award.