Dancing up a birthday storm
Hong Kong's Daniella Means celebrates her 23rd birthday today and proves she's tough as nails
Daniella Means has a schedule that is frightening. Today is the 23rd of the month and it's also the 23rd birthday of the prop for the Hong Kong women's team, but celebrations have to fit around the Sevens.
Just two weekends ago, the Hong Kong women's team took a five-hour bus ride to Qingyuan to play in a round robin with three teams from various provinces. The weekend of hard-core training (three hours daily) and playing two filmed games each afternoon formed the selection process for the team.
"We also wear GPS trackers to check what top speeds we have reached, and total distance run during games and training sessions," says the energetic Daniella, who was carrying an injury and saw only limited action yesterday.
In between training twice a week for the women's team, Daniella is an account executive for Quintessentially Neville McCarthy PR. She also gets up early four mornings a week as a trainer for Bikini Fit, a rigorous women's-only training programme.
None of this fazes Daniella, who made her debut in the Hong Kong women's team in 2008. Back then, she also played in the Hong Kong Sevens on her 18th birthday before she headed to Nottingham University, where Hong Kong captain Rowan Varty also attended.
She also loves to lift weights, and confesses: "I took up lifting when I was at university and I admit I have a competitive streak. I like nothing better than when I can lift more than many of the guys in the gym, and I am competing in the Hong Kong Powerlifting Championships on April 6."
It seems nothing weighs down Daniella , who believes in breaking the glass ceiling of women in rugby be being her sassy self. She loves nothing more than to put on a dress and go dancing. Perhaps she's living by former Texas governor Ann Richards' observation: "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, she just did it backwards, and in high heels."