Daniela Sposi started playing handball in Italy at age 11. She played professionally until 2005 and completed in the European Challenge Cup as well as represented Italy at two Europeans, one World and World Games in Beach and Ball where she won the bronze medal at the World Championships. Since 2005 she has resided in the UK and has been playing for Team GB since 2007 to prepare for the 2012 games.
WLM recently caught up with Daniela:
Where do you live in the UK: Watford
Number of children: 1
Medals won: 1 (bronze in the World Championships with Italy Beachandball 2004)
Amount of years in sport: 22 yrs
How do you start your day?
My alarm rings at 5.50am. Training is at 9am in Crystal Palace. I prepare my breakfast and a snack for when I finish training. I make sure that my son’s school uniform is ready and most of the time he wakes up to have breakfast with me. I leave home at 6.45 am and walk to the tube. If all trains are on schedule, I get to Crystal Palace by 8.35am ready for the first session of the day.
What’s a typical breakfast when you’re training?
Bowl of porridge and a cup of coffee…
How long did you ‘take-off’ from your sport when you became a mum?
How do you balance being a mum with your training schedule?
It is very difficult, but I have great support from my husband as well as the help from some friends. Needless to say I really need to plan everything in order to arrange childcare. All the free time from training is fully dedicated to my son Matteo. In fact I like to take him to the park as well as doing lots of activities at home.
Has becoming a mum changed the way you approach your sport?
It made me mentally stronger and I want to be a role model for my son not only as a mum but also as an athlete.
How has being an Olympian influenced you as a mother?
Being an aspiring Olympian didn’t influence me as a mother, apart from the obvious challenges due to time pressures. My son is very proud of what I do and he is looking forward to watch some Handball games at the Olympics.
What’s your proudest moment as an athlete?
My proudest moment will be to be part of Team GB at the Olympics.
Do you have any good luck charms or rituals before a match?
I like to talk with family before I get into the changing room before a match.
Besides your own sport, what are your other favourites? Who will you be watching?
I like to follow most of the team sports but my favourites are Athletics and Cycling. I’m looking forward to watching Jessica Ennis, Paula Radcliffe and Sir Chris Hoy.
Would you want your son to follow your footsteps?
I would like my son to do sports not only for health reasons, but also to learn about working hard in order to be the best he can be.
How do you relax?
I like to relax by reading books or listening to the music. But I also enjoy cooking special dishes for my boys.
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