CHICKI BOAK went to every game her son Travis played in his first year with Port Adelaide and has even been to Shanghai to watch him play, so a trip to Adelaide for his 300th should have been simple.
Instead, the proud mother-of-three was forced to make a mad dash back across the border into Victoria after a COVID-19 outbreak in South Australia saw that state go into lockdown and her son and his teammates relocating to Melbourne.
It was to have been a big celebration – Travis Boak will become just the second Port player to reach the milestone in the AFL – with Chicki coming across from Torquay with her sister (Travis’ aunt) and her eldest daughter Sarah to be part of what would have likely been close to a full house at Adelaide Oval as Port took on Collingwood in Friday night football.
Instead, a family dinner was held on Tuesday night when it became apparent the game could not proceed in Adelaide and the side would be heading to Melbourne to continue the season.
“When the cases started in South Australia, knowing how strict they are we knew there wouldn’t be a crowd but we could at least be there for him,” Chicki Boak told Melbourne radio.
“We kept an eye on the news and low and behold, it didn’t turn out that way.
“My eldest daughter, my sister and pup…. we jumped in the car and came home before the other border closed.”
Getting to the game – to be played at a crowdless Marvel Stadium - now seems just a pipedream.
But Chicki remains hopeful that she might somehow sneak in.
“I am but it’s just wishful thinking probably,” she said.
“It would be a dream come true to be there. I haven’t missed a milestone yet. It’d be pretty emotional if I could (be there).”
Whether she is there or not, Boak’s mother will be “immensely proud” of her only son - a man who counts three All-Australian honours, two club champion John Cahill Medals, three Showdown Medals and the record for most games as Port Adelaide AFL captain (139 from 2012 to 2018) among his career honours.
Boak was claimed by Port with pick five in the 2006 National Draft, shortly after the death from cancer of his father Roger.
“As a parent when they get drafted you’re not even sure if they’ll get one AFL game... he started off in Glenelg's reserves so I thought is this going to eventually happen and now that he’s playing 300, it’s been an amazing journey,” Chicki said.
“His dedication, his loyalty, he’s extremely talented – I see a lot of his dad out there when I watch him play.
“He knows that (Roger is) always there with him and the pride his dad would have with what he’s done and what he’s achieved.”
Given the standing with which Boak is regarded amongst the Port Adelaide community and wider AFL fraternity, and all of the success he has had, Chicki has trouble putting her finger on just one highlight.
“His first game as captain would be one,” she recalled. “That was such an amazing sense of pride to captain an AFL team, it was incredible.
“Probably just nearly every game, seeing his dream come true after all the dedication he’s put in to keep achieving these goals.”