Beck into sevens after pregnant pause
IT STILL puts a wry smile on the face of Olympic rugby sevens gold medallist Nicole Beck when she ponders that the “injured players” group was her return-to-training category after the birth of her second daughter.
She hadn’t blown a knee, damaged a shoulder or tweaked a hamstring but her body was reprogramming after Harper was born in April, a sister to four-year-old Sophie.
Beck made her comeback yesterday at the Aon Uni Sevens at St Lucia.
She already has her eyes on the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.
“I didn’t want to be ‘Baby, that’s it, you’re done’,” Beck, 29, said. “Like everyone in sevens, I’m super excited about the Comm Games ... the thrill of playing a big tournament on home soil is not something we get very much.”
Being categorised as a “supermum” doesn’t fit her ideas either, even though there are plenty who offer that tag for her determination to play on at the elite level.
“Everyday mums deserve that tag more who may be playing for state teams or clubs because they bring it to balance work, sport and bub,” Beck said. “I’m the lucky one because I never thought I could play sport as a job.
“There’s only a certain time in your life you can do this and my time’s not up. OLYMPIC SPIRIT: Nicole Beck and daughter Sophie at last year’s Rio Olympics.
‘‘At the end of each day I go back to being a mum.”
The Australian sevens unit even built a breastfeeding room for Beck and her daughter at their Sydney training base, although the on-the-go mum says that the front seat of her car is more often used.
“There are massive changes in the body with childbirth. You do need to repair yourself but ‘injured’, I don’t think I’d ever call it that,” she said with a laugh.
Five months later and she was ball-playing, dummying and tackling again yesterday as a marquee player for the University of Tasmania.
Emilee Cherry’s University of Queensland and the University of Canberra, with Wallaroos star Sharni Williams aboard for the first time, surged into today’s quarterfinals from 8.40am.
The Uni Sevens will climax with the medal matches today from 11.20am before Brisbane City and Canberra clash in the National Rugby Championship.