Ben Ryan, the legacy
THE Free Dictionary defines a saint a person of great benevolence and virtue; a founder or patron of a movement. Many people would identify this with Englishman Ben Ryan who moved to Fiji in 2013 with wife Natalie to take up the coaching role for the men’s national sevens team.
His love of rugby and the potential he saw in Fijian players to be world and Olympic beaters overshadowed per – sonal hardships he encountered with his employer when he first arrived. This great act of benevolence, when pitched against the results he produced, made him the most loved and adored person for all Fijians the world over. His right hand man, strength and conditioning coach Nacanieli Cawani – buka describes Ryan a “master-coach” whose simple leadership style and strong motivational skills worked well for the players.
“A strong attribute I saw in him was how to build self-confidence in the players to believe in themselves that they were the best in the world,” Cawanibuka said. “To get the best out of our Fijian players you need to be able to connect with them on a personal level and collectively as a team and Ben did that very well”.
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