The Shape I'm In: Ireland rugby star Megan Williams

WHEN she’s not playing rugby for Ireland, top sportswoman Megan Williams enjoys her job as physical activities co-ordinator in a Dublin secondary school, mixing up activities for her students.

“We do Zumba with them, take them for hikes, kayaking, canoeing. I’m quite lucky that I can do as much with them as I want,” she says. “Mixing it up keeps them motivated. They’ve recently started playing badminton and love it.”

Megan, 27, also works as a health and fitness coach and set up Move, Energise, Glow, which runs fitness events and retreats. She’ll be taking part in this year’s WellFest (wellfest.ie). She recently started a Hike to HITT fitness class so participants can get the benefits of the great outdoors along with their workout.

Megan, who grew up in England within an Irish family, came to Ireland six years ago on a rugby scholarship after being spotted by a talent scout while playing for London Irish. Being active has always been a part of her life. “I’ve always been into sport. I started playing rugby when I was five. My brothers played, and my dad. I’m a really active person. I love any kind of movement, I’m into boxing and hiking.

“I absolutely love it over here, it’s completely changed my life. Sport was always my escape, I never really knew what else I wanted to do. It’s definitely changed me as a person, going into sports full-time, for the better.”

WellFest, Europe’s largest outdoor health and wellness festival, is returning to Dublin’s Royal Hospital Kilmainham on May 11 and 12. www.moveenergiseglow.com

What shape are you in?

I train five, six times a week. I go to the gym, I’d also go on a lot of walks and hikes at the weekend. I love movement, it makes me really happy.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I enjoy a well-balanced, nutritious diet. I do it for nutrition but also for performance — I wouldn’t be able to perform at my best level if I wasn’t eating a well-balanced diet.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I love cheesy nachos — I’m a big fan of Mexican food. I love pretty much anything with cheese.

What would keep you awake at night?

Nothing really keeps me awake, I love my sleep. My team-mates laugh at me, I have the power to fall asleep anywhere. I’ve always been a good sleeper. If anything keeps me awake it would be finding it hard to switch off my mind if I’m not tired.

How do you relax?

I take a lot on and am very busy so for me, to relax is important. I love going for a walk with my dog Remy, she’s a French bulldog, or taking a few moments out by having a few deep breaths with a coffee in my hand. I also really enjoy baking. And I’ve recently become very interested in photography.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

I would invite the whole of the Friends cast because I love the show. I think probably Ross is my favourite. And Graham Norton, I think he’s hilarious.

What’s your favourite smell?

I love scented candles, they’re all over my house. Or I enjoy the smell of freshly baked goods when I’m cooking.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I wouldn’t want to change anything, as I get older and wiser I realise there is much more to life than worrying what people look like. Health to me is way more important than what you look like.

When is the last time you cried?

I’m quite an emotional person and I do wear my heart on my sleeve. But I really can’t remember.

What traits do you least like in others?

I wouldn’t like to judge anybody, everyone has a story and everybody’s different. For me, other people walk in and out of your life and I choose to see the best in people, choose to see the better side of them.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

Self-reflection is important to me. I sometimes can say yes to so much, as if it’s a fear that I’m missing out on stuff. I can stretch myself too thin, which can make me feel stressed because I’m taking on too much.

Do you pray?

I don’t — I wouldn’t be religious. But I do meditation, which I suppose is a form of praying.

What would cheer up your day?

Doing something that makes me truly happy. Having a flat white in a lovely coffee shop. Spending time with my boyfriend and arranging a date night, enjoying your friends’ company, or organising a trip away.


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