Fitness Matters. That’s My Job: Devo

“I am humbled that despite my age, I have people who are older than me who look to me for advice and coaching when it comes to strength and conditioning.”
28 Dec 2020 14:56
Fitness Matters. That’s My Job: Devo
Apisai Devo after one of his training sessions with the national 7s team at the High Performance Gym. Photo: Facebook

This all started when I was growing up watching rugby players and wondering how do they keep fit says Strength and Condition coach Apisai Devo.

A familiar name in Fijian rugby teams and an understudy of the Olympic Gold medal winning team trainer Nacanieli Cawanibuka.

The Naitasiri native is one of the current trainers who has his fair share of responsibilities; as a trainer for the teams at the Fiji Rugby Union.

Devo has rubbed shoulders with many local and international rugby players such as Jerry Tuwai as part of his daily work. Strength and conditioning is important for any sportsperson as it helps prevent injury, promotes healthy bones, improves postures and mood and increases fitness and metabolism.

Speaking to Sunsports the young trainer said working with the world’s best rugby players was special for him.

“The best way to describe it was that I felt in shock just being in the same space as these talented and contributing my skills and knowledge so that they are the best at what they do,” he said.

“I feel honored to play a part in not just our national teams but local groups as well such as the Naitasiri Rugby Union’s men’s and women’s team as I believe that we can only excel globally by starting locally.”

“I am humbled that despite my age, I have people who are older than me who look to me for advice and coaching when it comes to strength and conditioning.”

Players depend on specialists to provide them with the proper coaching and guidance in order to be at peak performance during their games.

For a rugby-crazy country such as Fiji, it comes as no surprise that Devo was someone who described himself as feeling “active and alive when outdoors playing rugby or other activities.”

Devo took a twist in life and chose to study Sports Science at the Fiji National University (FNU) in 2016.

“I want to stress that I had some of the best lecturers because I felt like we were a family who were all trying to learn and excel at the same thing and had our lecturers guiding us along the way,” Devo said.

“The lecturers really took their time in being attentive to each student and explained concepts until we fully understood them.”

“I knew I chose the right study and career path in Sports Science as the theory and practical skills and knowledge I gained from FNU prepared me for the real world and the sports industry.”

Devo graduated last year and recalled how he progressed from watching Tuwai and other national players on television to working with them to improve performance and helped keep them physically and mentally fit.

While any of these experiences would be career highlights for some, Devo said that gaining the self-confidence to work and perform in the sports industry was one of his major professional achievements.

“I can say that confidence is the key because you can be the best in your field but if you don’t have confidence, you won’t be able to contribute positively,” he said.

“I diligently work and contribute to sports development through my role and I plan to be one of the best strength and conditioning coach not just in Fiji, but globally.”

Devo encouraged students not to limit themselves and always

strived towards their ambitions.

“We all learn differently. Some of us learn better doing practical work compared to theory work and this is okay. This is how we learn and get better.”

“If you’re someone who learns better through technical and vocational education and training (TVET), you can still succeed in life.”



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