Name: Danielle Hennig
CAN Fund Recipient Since: 2015
Sport: Field Hockey
2013 Pan American Cup Bronze Medalist
2015 Pan Am Games Bronze Medalist
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Horoscope Sign: Capricorn
On The National Team Since: 2009
How does being a CAN Fund Recipient make a difference for you?
Being a CAN Fund makes a huge difference. In an important year with Olympic qualification on the line our training and competition schedule is packed leaving little time for anything else. It allows me to properly use our small amount of down time to actually rest and recover so I can be at my best, rather than put in long hours at a part time job to make ends meet. It gives me the peace of mind that I will be okay financially and allows my focus to be solely where it needs to be, which is on doing everything I can to be the best I can be for my teammates.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I started playing field hockey in middle school because I signed up for just about every sport offered and ended up choosing field hockey over volleyball even though I knew nothing about it. But I figured I was too short for volleyball and didn’t really like it.
What is the best part about representing Canada?
The pride you feel wearing the maple leaf while standing alongside your teammates. It’s an opportunity you never take for granted because you realize how rare it is and how hard you have all worked to get there.
What is your proudest moment?
Winning a bronze medal at the Pan American Cup in 2013. It was the first time in 9 years that the Canadian Women have medaled at a major international tournament and for me was the first time I had tasted real success on the international stage. Finally earning a result after being close so many times and knowing how much we could still improve really helped fuel my desire moving forward with the team.
Do you have any pre-competition superstitions or routines?
I always braid my hair in some way, it changes competition to competition but there is always a french braid or some cornrows involved in my hairstyle for games. It’s not so much a superstition but a routine and a way of keeping my hair out of my face. Often times the routine also includes scheduling in time to do a few teammates hair too.
What is a healthy snack you eat before or after training sessions?
Chocolate milk for recovery!
What is in your refrigerator right now?
A 1.75kg tub of plain greek yogurt. I go through it like crazy!
What advice would you give to young kids or teenagers about following their dreams?
Chasing after your dreams is one of the most terrifying things you can do because the stakes are so high. However, opportunities to pursue them are generally pretty rare and you can never succeed if you don’t try. The journey to follow your dreams often takes new shape and the little things you learn and achieve day in and day out are often much more valuable and cherished than the singular end goal.
What is the greatest advice a coach has ever given you?
It wasn’t necessarily advice, but early on in my career with the national team one of the coaches was up front with me and told me that I wasn’t at the level they needed me to be at yet. I was a player they were looking at for long term development and if I stuck with the program and continued working hard he could see me as a consistent player within the program in about two years. It gave me a timeline so I didn’t get discouraged when I wasn’t immediately selected or successful, but it also motivated me to work harder and try to prove him wrong and get to that point earlier.
If you could meet one person in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
Billie Jean King, because she was such a phenomenal athlete and also a pioneer in fighting for sexual equality in sport.
What is your favourite thing about being on the road with your teammates?
All the sing-a-longs while driving and locker room dance parties.
What three items do you take with you on every road trip?
Music, books and my comb for doing hair.
What are you favourite places in the world you have visited?
New Zealand was beautiful. India was tough to play in but culturally was so interesting so I would love to go back to travel. And as a hockey player Argentina because it had an amazing atmosphere since they are fanatical about their field hockey.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, Skiing, Hiking and Painting
What is your favourite movie?
What is your favourite book?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Who is your favourite athlete?
Martin St. Louis
What is your favourite quote?
“There are no secrets to success it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
What is your favourite song or band/musician?