Are you really, really tall? Do you want to be the next Laura Geitz or Gretel Tippett?
If you answered yes to either of these questions then Netball Queensland and the Mission Queensland Firebirds want you!
The Tall Timbers Talent Development Program has been set up to give athletes between the ages of 15-20 years, who are 186cm or taller, the opportunity to sample Queensland’s leading sport for women or for those who currently play, a taste at the top level.
So like Firebirds new recruit, Gretel Tippett, you don’t have to come through the pathways or have even played netball, you just need to be very tall.
Netball Queensland and Firebirds High Performance Manager, Adam Abbott said it has been identified that there is a lack of height in the talent pool in Queensland especially in the defender ranks.
“You can’t teach height and we need taller girls to stay competitive,” Abbott said.
“Even Firebirds and Diamonds Captain Laura Geitz would not make the cut off for the Tall Timbers Development Program. Standing at 185cm, Laura is now on the shorter side in the modern game,” he said.
Abbott said you don’t need to come from a netball background and 21-year-old Gold Coast raised Tippett, is a perfect example of what you can achieve.
Tippett, who just signed a two-year contract with the Firebirds, originally hales from a basketball background and only converted to netball in 2011.
The 196cm goal attack was a future star of Australian basketball with a lengthy resume for someone so young, when the WNBL rookie-of-the-year and Australian under 19s star swapped a hoop for a goal post.
Tippett was on a break from basketball, ill with glandular fever, when she joined a friend at her local netball club to regain fitness and have some fun.
Instead, as Tippett explains: “I kind of fell in love with it.”
The feeling was mutual. In a blink she had caught the eye of the Queensland selectors, then the national selectors, and the Firebirds’, where she was recruited as a replacement player in 2012.
By the end of 2013, Tippett had won a silver medal at the 21-and-under world youth netball championships, and at the Fast5 Netball World Series at senior level, as well as a Diamonds’ squad invitee, all of the success coming before the then-teenager had even made her ANZ Championship debut.
Abbott said Tippett has gone from strength to strength since converting from basketball even though she was very raw when first picking up a netball.
“Gretel is an exceptional talent, has enormous athleticism, great speed and elevation and will be a great asset for the Firebirds and netball in Queensland.”
‘We are looking to find that next Queensland grown convert with the height to match.”
To register your interest to be part of the Tall Timbers Development session that is being held at Ormiston College, Sunday July 27, 2pm-5.30pm email [email protected] or call 07 3848 6330.