Not only is Reds’ star Lucy Lockhart back running just two months after having her first baby, she is also influencing how other mums return to professional sport.
Lockhart, who previously played Rugby 7s with Bond, welcomed Zoe in April with fiancé and premier grade Bull Sharks player Declan Dinnen. The couple’s newborn has earned the honour of being named Bond’s first ‘baby Bull Shark’.
“Were definitely winging it!” Lockhart laughed.
“It’s been really fun. Zoe is an absolute angel and we’re just cruising and taking each day as it comes.”
During the latter stages of her pregnancy, Lockhart 29, vowed to wear the green and gold for the first time in the Women’s Rugby World Cup starting in October in New Zealand.
At this stage, the Tweed Heads local is optimistic she will be available.
“I’ve just started my return to running which is really good because I was supposed to start at week 12 and I’m currently week nine postpartum.
“I’m three weeks ahead of schedule which is great but I’m also being really cautious.”
The forward’s commitment has caught the attention of researchers at the Australian Institute of Sport. Her pre and post pregnancy training data is being studied by the AIS to educate women about career longevity.
“I want to try to be a role model for Zoe as well as all the other women out there who think they can’t do anything postpartum or post babies,” she said.
“It’s very, very exciting. I think I’m on track so we’ll see how we go with my return to contact in a couple of weeks. We’ve got a match in Adelaide [against the Black Ferns] coming up in August so my first goal is to try to become viable for selection in that squad.”
During the Wallaroos camp at Bond University in February, Lockhart was safely stationed behind a camera to film training sessions for coaching staff. She admits she had mixed emotions about missing out on the action.
“It’s been hard to watch from the sideline. But it’s also been a good break and to have that spectator view on the team has allowed me to see what I could potentially bring to the team.”
“And that’s my work ethic and my go-forward with the ball. Every time I’ve got the ball I think I’ve got good leg drive to get past the contact. I think that will be very beneficial for the team,” she said.
If she’s successful for the World Cup, Dinnen will take two weeks off work to travel to Auckland with baby Zoe. Their trip will be extended if the Australians make the finals.
“I’m definitely not as good at rugby as Zoe’s mum and I’ve got a feeling Zoe might grow up with a rugby ball in her hand,” Dinnen laughed.
“That would put me third in the pecking order.”
Dinnen, meanwhile, is on the comeback from shoulder and ankle surgeries. He’s hoping to be back on the pitch in the next two months, with his newest fan watching on.