Steven Hooker

Steve Hooker’s post-Christmas lunch nap: ‘Best sleep I have all year!’

Olympic Champion Steven Hooker of Australia competes in the men's Pole Vault final in Berlin (Getty Images)Olympic Champion Steven Hooker of Australia competes in the men's Pole Vault final in Berlin (Getty Images) © Copyright

Christmas takes Steve Hooker back to Melbourne to see his family, and perhaps some cricket, and a nap after Christmas Day lunch that he reckons is the best sleep he has all year!

"Being a Melbourne boy who now lives on the other side of the country in Perth, family Christmas means going home.

"I’m there for a few days, just catching up with family and friends. We have a small extended family, so it’s a low-key lunch. I always say the favourite part of my year, the thing I look forward to most, is my nap after Christmas lunch. It’s the best sleep I have all year.

"I do train on Christmas Day, but it will just be the one session. It’s a perfect opportunity for me to have a light week, a bit of recovery time from the hard training I’ve been doing. Then I can come back to Perth refreshed and ready to do some high-quality stuff.

"The other big thing in Melbourne over Christmas time is the Boxing Day Test (cricket: Australia is playing West Indies at the moment and will be playing Pakistan on Boxing Day). I’ll probably go with a few mates. I like to go to the cricket whenever I can, and the first day is always a pretty fun occasion.

"Crowd behaviour can sometimes get a bit exuberant, to say the least, but I know I won’t be letting my hair down much. It will be a good day.

"Last summer I went to the Perth Test. That was pretty cool because I got to go to the players’ room. I was taken through when the players were on the field.

"I even called a couple of balls on the radio broadcast as well. That was a funny cricket experience; I definitely got a different perspective on it.

"I wasn’t asked to comment, but I was being interviewed as play was going on so I called a couple of balls. I just took it upon myself. I didn’t know that was an honour normally reserved for the Prime Minister or someone like that. I didn’t know I was treading on the PM’s toes, it was just a fun thing to do.

"If I had to nominate a cricket hero it would be Shane Warne. I think he was the most exciting cricketer to watch in world cricket, at least in his prime. Whenever he had the ball in his hand it looked like something was going to happen.

"He’s a fantastic role model in terms of how he was a competitor on the field. I try to match him in the way he went about it on the field, though off the field I would probably go in the opposite direction!

"Then it’s back to Perth and some hard work. My training is going really well, including pole vault training. I’m looking forward to seeing how that progresses over the next couple of months.

"Happy Christmas to one and all.

Steven