New mom goes for ringette gold

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:29 AM ET

Danielle Hobday's weekend went something like this: practise ringette, breastfeed, practise ringette, breastfeed, practise ringette, breastfeed.

The 30-year-old from Oakbank was a busy woman at the national ringette team's tryout camp in Whitby, Ont., but she impressed enough people to earn a spot on Canada's world championship squad for the fourth time.

And she did it just 10 weeks after giving birth to her first child, a seven-pound, 10-ounce baby girl named Finnley, who entered the world on Feb. 21.

"My mom (Sandra) decided to come with me so that I could bring the baby, because I'm still breastfeeding," Hobday said yesterday. "So that was a bit crazy in between ice times."

Stonewall's Sheena MacDonald was the other Manitoban who made the national team, which will go for gold at the world championship in Ottawa in late October and early November.

No offence to MacDonald, but Hobday's appointment takes the cake. Despite being one of Canada's top forwards at the 2000, '02, and '04 world championships, Hobday had to earn her spot on the weekend.

"There were no assurances," she said. "I think they were happy with where I was, but there was definitely nothing written in stone."

Hobday didn't waste any time getting back in shape. She was cross-country skiing four days after Finnley was born. She was running two weeks later and she returned to the ice in April for the first time in 14 months.

When she weighed in at training camp, she was a fit and trim 131 pounds.

"It's a pound lower than when I started (my pregnancy), so that was good," she said. "... The nice thing about it is I'm on maternity leave, so working out hasn't been as much of a challenge.

"Physically it's difficult, but I have all day off, so when she's having a nap I can easily go for a run on the treadmill."

Hobday, who works for The Puratone Corporation in Niverville, also gave credit to Finnley, who is on a sleeping schedule that would make any new mom jealous.

"She's a really good baby," Hobday said. "If she was really difficult, I don't know if I could've done it. But she sleeps through the night, so I get a good sleep and I feel like training the next day."

Hobday said her teammates were surprised not only by her fitness level, but that she was even at the camp. She had some extra motivation, however, because this will be her last world championship.

She won a gold and two silvers at her first three worlds, finishing second at the last championship in 2004.

"I didn't want end on a silver," she said. "I want to end on a gold."


Videos

Photos