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WATCH: A different Ramadan experience for New Zealand's rugby star Williams

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on May 23, 2020
Williams, who made 58 appearances for the famed All Blacks, is currently playing for the Toronto Wolfpack, the first Canadian professional club in the English League. -- Agencies

The All Blacks star, who won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015, converted to Islam in 2009. And the 34-year-old said that with the rugby league, like all other sports around the world, at a standstill, it has helped him tailor his training regime around breaking his fast.

Two-time rugby World Cup winner New Zealander Sonny Bill Williams has revealed how he has coped with the Covid-19 pandemic during the Holy Month of Ramadan and said that fasting has been a totally different experience for him this time.

The All Blacks star, who won the World Cup in 2011 and 2015, converted to Islam in 2009. And the 34-year-old said that with the rugby league, like all other sports around the world, at a standstill, it has helped him tailor his training regime around breaking his fast.

'When I was playing I was having to train a lot during the day back in New Zealand," said Williams.

"So I couldn't really structure my day around Iftar. So, what I'm doing now is one or two hours, depending on how hard the session is, before Iftar," he added.

About his routine now, Williams said: "I'll get up before Suhoor, have a light meal, pray Fajr, read the Quran, and then my wife will let me sleep for a couple of hours so I'll get up mid-morning.

Then we'll normally go for a family walk with the kids, then I'll just relax at home for a bit, try and read the Quran, try and have a little afternoon nap. And then I'll get up and usually train, and then break fast."

Williams, who made 58 appearances for the famed All Blacks, is currently playing for the Toronto Wolfpack, the first Canadian professional club in the English League.

Williams said that he has gained experience over time when it comes to fasting.

"'I'll get asked by athletes a lot, what should I eat, what time should I eat, what type of food, when or if I should eat carbs, that type of stuff. When I first started getting into Ramadan from an athlete's point of view I was really scientific," he said.

Williams also recalled a funny incident last year when he overate before a game and fell asleep,

"Last year, I actually fell asleep on the team bus going to the game. I broke fast just before I hopped on the bus to go to the game, and I had a bit too much. Your energy is zapped after you eat too much, so I fell asleep heading into Eden Park before the big game. So I learned that lesson early!," Williams laughed.

Williams, who also played Sevens and represented New Zealand at the 2016 Olympics, is hoping to return to action soon enough.

'The competition will come back soon. And God willing, we can carry on our form from the last game. Thank you for all your support. We're training hard. We're working hard. Even though I'm enjoying myself at home with my family, I'm still training every day besides one day a week, and still looking forward to getting back out there and playing some good footy. I know all the other lads are in the same boat," said Williams.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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