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Rio Olympics, SPORTS

William Koong: The Quiet Achiever

William Koong: The Quiet Achiever
William Koong at the Labasa celebration at Subrail Park. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
August 29
21:26 2016

He is one of the men working tirelessly behind the scenes in the Fiji rugby 7s camp.  He started out 14 years ago in the 15s code. But since 2008 he has stamped his mark as the go to man in getting our sevens boys rehabilitated and injury free.

William Koong was the physiotherapist for our 13 member rugby sevens side to the Rio Olympics. He has also been instrumental in Ben Ryan’s core management team during the World Sevens Series. Koong is a quite achiever but has the respect of the world’s most successful 7s coach.

In an article published in the Ultimate Rugby website three years ago, Ryan who had just joined the Fiji side saw Koong’s potential and tapped right into it.

“We have a real gem in William Koong the team physio and also stand-in High Performance manager amongst other jobs he does. I have yet to witness he actually sleeps, which if he doesn’t, is a very useful trait to have in my management team!

“William has been the glue in keeping everyone pointing in the right direction and I was very lucky to have him by my side. The two of us with our manager was the team behind the team. As the programme grows, so will the need for us to expand and we are probably the smallest management group in the core sides.”

And they remained the smallest management group at the Rio Olympics. Great Britain had 8 people compared to Fiji’s four.

Koong was all smiles yesterday at Subrail Park in Labasa. He hails from the village of Sawani in Bua. His role is to ensure that players are injury free. This means conducting a medical assessment of the players on a daily basis. “Looking through the assessment we find out their weaker points and I run a rehab programme for them and once they pass the rehab programme I pass them over to the strength and conditioning coach (Nacani Cawanibuka) to take over.

“Basically it’s to do with injury management and prevention.”

Koong was also pleased about the fact that Fiji had the lowest incident rate in the World Sevens Series and also the Olympics. This is according to World Rugby statistics.

“The whole series where you will see countries like New Zealand walking out because of injuries, our rate is really low for major injuries in the whole series.” Koong said this was attributed to proper rehab programme followed by the medical protocols.

“But I think at the same time it goes back to our strength and conditioning programme that has been corrected and then the proper coaching from our coaching panel.”

While Koong is sad to see Ryan leave next week, he has also learnt a great deal from the man the vanua o Nakelo has called Tu Rai.

“With Ben Ryan, we have learnt a lot and the biggest thing is because of his sports science background, we are able to work together the sciences and medicine and the integration of our fields.”

Undecided yet of how he will spend his $30,000- travelling abroad to visit friends is on the cards.

 

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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