Beck into sev­ens af­ter preg­nant pause

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - JIM TUCKER @hu­la­b­u­la­jim

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.

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