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EDITORIAL: What A 7s Year It’s Been So Far

Our national Vodafone 7s team are the team to beat for the Rio Olympics. After nailing the HSBC World 7s Series title, over the weekend, our sights are firmly on
19 May 2015 08:48
EDITORIAL: What A 7s Year It’s Been So Far

Our national Vodafone 7s team are the team to beat for the Rio Olympics.

After nailing the HSBC World 7s Series title, over the weekend, our sights are firmly on that gold medal at the Rio Olympics.

It shows what discipline, effective use of resources and mentoring can do. Ben Ryan did not have the multi-million dollar budgets of countries like New Zealand, England and South Africa.

Mr Ryan had to use the small playing ground belonging to the Uprising Beach Resort at Pacific Harbour to teach his players the basic drills and intricacies of defence.

Coconut juice was used for rehydration and in the beginning he even had to go without a salary waiting for the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) to get their act together.

Current and future players should never forget the sacrifices that were made to help get the national Vodafone 7s team to where they are today.

A grateful Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou shared his appreciation for the win with the news media at Parliament yesterday.

Mr Tuitubou has always backed the team and their coach and his belief in them has paid dividends.

Mr Tuitubou talked about how Mr Ryan had helped bring a total paradigm shift to their national 7s team.

This involved a different way of mental preparation that was translated into discipline in life habits, diet and physical preparation.

It’s true of the biblical maxim, you reap what you sow.  The Fijian team sowed in sweat, tears and time and reaped in joy.

Every Fijian shares this joy of winning the HSBC World 7s series title with them.

Mr Ryan has not only set the bar high for players wanting to become part of his national team, he’s also set the bar extremely high for potential national coaches.

Because the game of rugby is essentially now a business, a coach has to fulfil several key roles.

A coach’s first role is of course, building a winning rugby team through the design and implementation of a comprehensive coaching plan.

This involves being familiar with nutrition, physiology, rugby and sports science.

He or she will also need to act as scout, talent manager, welfare manager and vet contracts and liaise with professional rugby clubs on the release of players.

He or she will also need to be extremely media-savvy and know how to manage different media expectations and deal with fans and players’ families.

Ben Ryan, like Waisale Serevi before him also took it upon himself to act as fundraising co-ordinator by appealing directly to Fijian 7s rugby fan-base for help with equipment needed by the team.

In fact, Mr Ryan might be able to give a few lessons on media management to other sporting fraternities in Fiji.

If there is a social movement gaining traction to support the national 7s team, with finances and equipment, it is because they trust Ben Ryan and his team.

Trust. That’s a very important word in Fiji. Trust comes out of integrity. Fijians trust Ben Ryan because of his integrity and commitment to Fijian rugby, no matter the cost.

Come Rio, we have no doubt that trust will translate into success. Golden success.

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 




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