Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

EMOTIONAL TIME FOR IPSWICH DUO; Farewell Planned for Sporty Hoopers

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

EMOTIONAL TIME FOR IPSWICH DUO; Farewell Planned for Sporty Hoopers

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lems david.lems@qt.com.au

WITH a successful and dedicated Ipswich sporting couple like Nathan and Jade Hooper, it's hard to know where to start.

They have achieved so much in cricket, hockey, business and helping others during more than a combined 40 year association with the city.

So it's understandable they may shed a tear or two at tonight's farewell party at the Racehorse Hotel.

The popular couple, who met through hockey, are moving to Melbourne to start new positions.

Jade, 32, is the national strategy and development manager for the TOLL Intermodal group in the city.

Nathan, 33, has received a transfer to work in a business development role for the National Australia Bank in the CBD.

Having married in 2006, Nathan and Jade are excited about the latest chapter in their lives.

"It's a really big opportunity for Jade and myself actually,'' Nathan said, also looking forward to the terrific sporting events that will be close by.

However, as he settles into big city life, Nathan's thoughts won't be far from the city that has nurtured his sporting career.

"It's never easy to leave family and friends, especially when we've been here for so long and been involved in so many different things with so many great people,'' he said.

Today is most likely Nathan's final first division cricket match in Ipswich. Swifts are playing Eastern Taipans in a one-day encounter at Ivor Marsden Sporting Complex.

"Cricket has been part of my life for the last 15 years,'' the fiercely proud sportsman said.

"Just thinking back over the memories of the people I've played with, people I've played against, and even missing those battles with the people that you always challenge when they are in the opposition team.

"To know that you just won't have that opportunity to do it again, it will certainly be emotional, and particularly with the Swifts guys.

"They are such a young group, very supportive, and they've come such a long way in the last couple of years and we've done it all together.''

But true to Hooper's keenness to develop the sport, he's glad his swansong is against the Taipans. …

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