Born in Townsville and growing up on a farm on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Channel Nine’s Yvonne Sampson said it was always a dream to work in Rugby League.
An only child in the Sampson family, Yvonne would make regular visits to the old Lang Park with her father to watch her beloved Queensland Maroons.
The now-26-year-old said some of her fondest memories were forged at the stadium and it was a place where she “learned to love footy”.
Now fronting Nine’s Rugby League coverage north of the NSW border, Sampson arose through the ranks in plying her trade at a local news outlet.
Having caught a break in the final year of studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology, Sampson completed a year’s work experience in Maroochydore and persisted at the station until her efforts were recognised in kind.
“I hung around like a pest until they gave me a job,” Sampson joked.
“I was really lucky that I was always able to do sport. I grew up loving footy and it was always Rugby League for me.”
With an unquestionable love for the sport of Rugby League, Sampson had worked at the Seven Network and Sky News before being offered a job with the sport’s free-to-air rights holders.
The proud Queenslander took on the role with Nine in 2012 and said she was a little overwhelmed by the status of her colleagues.
“When I started working at Channel Nine, I thought all my Christmases had come at once,” Sampson said.
“They said ‘Yvonne, this will be your desk’, and then Wally Lewis turned around. I mean I was sitting next to ‘The King’!
“There he is, just on his computer listening to grabs ready to head out to Red Hill. I tried to not be a fan girl but I think I still was.”
Now based in Coogee, Sampson said the decision to pursue a career as a female sports journalist was thanks to the influence and ‘pioneer’ work of fellow reporters Margie McDonald and Debbie Spillane.
But not bound solely to her role at the Nine Network, Sampson regularly fronts functions as a Master of Ceremonies and will again do so at Sharkies Leagues Club this Sunday afternoon for the Sharks’ post-match presentation.
With the post-match presentation free to attend for both members and fans, the Club awaits your attendance following the match against the Dragons.
In what will be a big day at Remondis Stadium, the Club encourages fans to pre-purchase their tickets to ensure their spot inside the ground.
GAME DAY @ REMONDIS
1:30pm – Gates open
1:45pm – NYC kick off
4:00pm – NRL kick off
6:00pm – Post-match event.
Sunday's match against the St George Illawarra Dragons is proudly brought to you by match day sponsor Southern Radiology.
Caption - Sampson with a collection of her Channel 9 sport colleagues