Gabriel Ho | June 24, 2015

Last Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a 7s coaching seminar held by ATAVUS. The course could probably be considered as my first formal training to be a coach of any kind. The session covered the various elements of coaching a 7s team and was primarily run by the amazing Emilie Bydwell. The biggest treat of the course though, was having USA Women’s 7s Coach Richie Walker come and actually talk about his coaching experiences. The evening classroom session was truly a wonderful experience and really got me excited about beginning my coaching career.
One of the highlights of the night however, had almost nothing to do with 7s or coaching. It came from having a proper conversation with Waisale Serevi. I’ve always been a huge fan; I watched him as a kid when the 7s circuit came around for the Singapore leg of the tournament. This wasn’t the first time meeting him as a result of my internship here at ATAVUS. It was my first conversation though, because the first time I was introduced to him was a chance encounter in the office pantry and I went into super-fan star-struck mode when he shook my hand – needless to say I think I completely botched it. Anyway, after the classroom session I went up to him to say what I meant to say the first time we met. I said, “Hey Wais, 10 years ago in Singapore I asked for your autograph but you were too busy”.
Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of a picture with the legend.
I’m still working on the autograph though.
While Friday brought the opportunity to learn from legends of the game, Saturday’s field session for the 7s training camp came with the chance to run with one of USA’s current. His name is Carlin Isles and I think he made his name being pretty fast. Carlin took camp participants through a host of speed exercises, and I’m excited to say that I’ll soon be just as fast as him. Real talk; Carlin was excellent. The man embodies everything we try to accomplish at ATAVUS and he gave all participants an absolute masterclass.
And although he’s pretty fast, I still managed to catch him for a photo.
The two days were nothing short of spectacular and, in my mind, was the perfect first formal training toward being a coach. I’ll not be short of opportunity to put into practice the things I learned throughout summer with all the summer camps Atavus will be hosting. Exciting times ahead!