Gold Coast's Tippett family having a ball
TONY and Janet Tippett may have been a little bleary-eyed from all the sports watching over the weekend.
But the Gold Coast couple would not have been any more proud after their three children took centre stage in their chosen fields.
With sons Kurt and Joel playing for Sydney and North Melbourne, respectively, in the AFL, and daughter Gretel representing the Queensland Firebirds in netball's ANZ Championship, it was the first time the siblings had been involved at the elite level on the same weekend.
"That was pretty special," Gretel told APN yesterday. "I think mum and dad have learnt they can't get to everything these days. I was lucky enough to have them here in Brisbane with me. We all sat around and watched Kurt's game (on television) on Saturday and after my game on Sunday we sat around and watched Joely play."
It was a case of two out of three ain't bad for the family. Kurt, 28, kicked two goals in the Swans' opening-round win over Essendon at ANZ Stadium, and Gretel, 21, downed 22 goals in the Firebirds' thrilling victory over the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Brisbane. But Joel, 25, was unfortunately the odd Tippett out with his Kangaroos suffering heavy defeat to the Crows in Adelaide.
While Kurt has now played 131 AFL games since making his first appearance in 2009, Joel was playing just his seventh senior game, and fifth with the Kangaroos after his debut back in 2011 with Gold Coast.
They had only played together in the same round four times before, and Gretel was either still playing basketball (in 2011) or struggling for game-time with netball's NSW Swifts (in 2014).
After spending some time training with the Firebirds in 2013, Gretel "jumped at the opportunity to move back home".
"I always loved wearing the purp. It's just awesome to be a part of them."
Living in Brisbane with teammate Kim Ravaillion - and being fuelled by getting "some of mum's home cooking into me" once or twice a week - the 191cm powerhouse has made an impact in the goal attack position, alongside superstar shooter and all-time competition leading scorer Romelda Aiken.
"The girls have been great. They make my job easy," she said.
"Playing with Romelda is a dream. I can't believe she can jump that high ... it's awesome working with her in the circle. She inspires me.
"I guess I'm feeling more and more comfortable every opportunity I get to step out there on court."
Following their 48-46 win over the Thunderbirds, the third-placed Firebirds (3-1-1) now have their sights on upsetting reigning champions the Melbourne Vixens on their home court this Sunday.
The Firebirds have been runners-up two years running, losing the title-deciders to Adelaide (in 2013) and Melbourne (in 2014).
In fact, Gretel will be hoping the Tippetts can make it two wins in Melbourne this weekend with Joel's Kangaroos looking to bounce back against the visiting Lions.
"That would be unreal," she said.