TeKopa Tipene-Thomas | Sport2020
I was lucky enough to be raised in the Bay of Islands, Northland. I was brought up by my grandparents on their dairy farm for over half of my child and teen years, I learnt many important values from them and the land that are now the foundations of who I am today. Some of these values/traits are known to me as ‘things that require zero talent’. Being on time, having a good attitude, good mannerisms, respectable and many more. These have assisted my upbringing over the years by allowing me to be successful in the things I strive to achieve.
I have been an avid sportsman since I can remember. Rugby being my first love, then many other sports rolled around once I hit Bay of Islands College like Rugby League, Touch, Soccer, Volleyball and Basketball just to name a few. AFL came in hot during my second year of college as talent scouts from Australia had their eyes set on the talents of NZ. The opportunity to play overseas caught my attention as I hadn’t been to another country yet. So I set my goals and achieved them. Going from a high school prospect to achieving the apex status in NZ as the best player in the country at AFL 4 years later. Although I grew up playing rugby at club, representatives and for Northland age group levels, AFL is side by side with rugby as my most loved sport.
I am humbled to be able to experience many of the highs and lows of my life but my biggest challenge now is being the best father and partner I can be for my 6 month old son Theo and loving partner Kerri. Along with my ancestors, they keep my feet on the ground in all the good ways. I’m lucky to have them ride this awesome AFL journey alongside me as they’re my number 1 supporters. I’m absolutely keen to get stuck into achieving my next set of goals big or small.