Jake is one of the mainstays of the Australian men’s hockey team, who went so close to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics losing in heartbreaking circumstances to Belgium in the gold medal match.
Children: Felix 3 (October 1); Marlee (11 months)
Get to know Jake
A veteran of more than 200 Internationals, Jake has scored almost 70 goals for the Kookaburra’s playing as a forward, with his trademark zinc standing out … a legacy of his admiration for fellow Queenslander and former Australian cricket star Andrew Symonds.
Jake’s other trademark is his fitness, which he devotes a lot of time to and has seen him become a mainstay of the national team since the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has ambitions to become a personal trainer at the end of his hockey career, which will help set up his family including children Felix and Marlee – who both seem to follow in dad’s footsteps.
“Felix is an absolute sports nut,” Jake says. “He started playing hockey this year and we were so proud of him for joining in with some of the older kids throughout the year. We love going to the pitch and putt golf course and watching him smack the golf ball further than some people we see there which is very funny.
“As for Marlee she is very independent, she loves getting into most things she isn’t meant to whether it’s the dogs water or the dirt outside … I love watching her do her own thing.”
Jake is the domesticated one and does all of the house work. He always tries to make sure the kids and I are looked after and things are easy for us. Little things like making sure my car is filled with petrol, there are enough nappies and wipes for the kids as well as taking the dogs to the park every day and making sure they have enough food.
QDo you find it hard spending time away from the family during playing commitments, and what’s it like now during Covid?
AWith Covid unfortunately we haven’t been able to travel or play many games due to the restrictions, so over the past 18 months I have not spent much time away from the kids which has been awesome. I was away quite a bit whilst Felix was a baby but with Marlee I have been there the entire time. The Olympic Games has been the longest I have been away from them which has certainly had its challenges but super mum is all over it!
QOn a normal game day, do you like to relax with the family or do you try to keep away?
AI will speak to the family in the morning of game day and ask Felix what colour shoes daddy has to wear … either my red ones or my orange ones at the moment. I will then spend most of the day preparing for match. Felix likes to talk to me after the game and tell me what he thought and how I went.
QCongratulations on winning the silver medal in Tokyo. I’m sure when you get back home the whole family will celebrate? Is the medal for them as well?
AIt is for my family, the entire hockey community around Australia and everyone who has supported my career to date. I want to be able to take it everywhere I go and show as many people as possible.
QWere you at the kids birth’, what was that like?
AYes I was there for both kids births. Both were caesarean births which is an unbelievable experience and example of what the human body can do. I was very fortunate to be able to be there considering what the world is going through at the moment and some of the stories I have heard in regards to partners not being able to be there.
QTell us about those nappy changes and bath time …
AFortunately enough I have only been peed on twice and sh*t on once! I think I got out of that pretty well if you ask me! Putting a nappy on a toddler has more problems than a newborn I have found.
QTell us about being a dad, how much do you enjoy it?
AAbsolutely love it! All you want to do is to make your kids happy and give them whatever they want! It has certainly changed the way I look at life - as cliched as that sounds!
QWhat is your favourite activity with the kids?
AFelix is an absolute sports nut. He started playing hockey this year and was so proud of him for joining in with some of the older kids throughout the year. We love going to the pitch and putt golf course and watching him smack the golf ball further than some people we see there which is very funny. As for Marlee she is very independent, she loves getting into most things she isn’t meant to whether that is the dogs water or the dirt outside I love watching her do her own thing.
QAny memorable moments with Felix?
AWatching him play his first game of hockey was pretty special. He didn’t join in that much during his first day but seeing him with his shoes and socks and stick in hand was pretty cool!
QDo the kids come to your games and how does that make you feel?
AAs many as they can! Felix loves sitting down eating his hot chippies and watching dad whether that is with mum, his aunty Jordan or any of our friends at hockey he will sit and watch very contently. Marlee isn’t quite the same but she gets plenty of cuddles at hockey which I’m sure she loves!
QWhat sports or activities does Felix play?
AHe loves hockey, golf and cricket. Golf would be great if he stuck with that! If he chooses to continue with any sports we will be right behind him as my parents let me follow my dreams.
QWhen the season ends, and hopefully Covid restrictions stop, where would you like to take the family on a holiday?
AI would love to get back to Brisbane and Rockhampton too see our families. My parents live in the same house as I grew up in and Sam’s parents live in Rockhampton so we would love to get there sooner rather than later.
Now lets ask Sam and the kids some questions...
QHi Sam, what is his best asset as a father?
AHis pride for our kids. Jake gets so much enjoyment from seeing the kids happy and doing what they love. For example, the first Olympic game clashed with Felix’s minkey hockey and Jake said ‘it’s ok, take Felix to hockey if that’s what he wants to do’. And after their game he was more excited to speak to Felix and see that he had a good time at minkey.
QDoes he help out with all the nappy changing, feeding and bath time?
AYes. Jake is very hands on and does majority of the nappy changes for both and bedtime routine for Felix. We share the bath and cooking times. I had caesarean’s for both bubs so in the hospital Jake did everything for them besides the feeding.
QTell us something about Jake that we don’t know about him?
AJake is the domesticated one and does all of the house work. He always tries to make sure the kids and I are looked after and things are easy for us. Little things like making sure my car is filled with petrol, there are enough nappies and wipes for the kids etc as well as taking the dogs to the park every day and making sure they have enough food. Before he goes away on tour he makes sure there are enough supplies for the kids and dogs to save me having to go to the shops with both kids.
QAnd Felix , what makes your dad so special?
ACause he is!
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