Jackie at RWCWe are very happy to say that massage therapist Jackie Takahashi is now back treating on Wednesday mornings after her time away working with the Japanese rugby team for the Rugby World Cup. But we couldn’t let her get away without answering some questions about her experience!

How did you get involved?
I have been treating the organisers of the Rugby World Cup since last summer, I had a call from the pool B manager who knew me as Sports Massage therapist and that I spoke Japanese. They needed someone with interpersonal skills to be the liaison between the RWC and the Japan team.

What was your role? Did you do any massage?
My job role was  Team Liaison Officer, assisting all coaches, players and medical team to achieve their objectives with as few problems as possible, which most of  the time involved my Japanese language skills. My job varied from being a translator to leading the team convoy driving to the Stadium, to taking some players to the hospital or organising dinner for 60 people.

What did you like best?
I enjoyed every moment of my five weeks with the team, never worked with such polite group of people, they certainly were very appreciative of my help and made me feel much a part of their team. The job was very challenging every day, especially match days when my task was to get the team to the stadium safe and on time.

Will you be doing anything else like this in the future?
Absolutely yes!! I would love to get involved in something like this in future, I certainly made good friends during this period and I hope I’ll be involved in the Sevens game in Rio or to the next Rugby World Cup in Japan.

What were the challenges involved in this role?
Communication was a big challenge, but interesting due to many parties being involved.

Most memorable moment?
Winning the game against South Africa! This was the first time Japan won an international game in 24 years! I also loved how the British crowd supported Japan.

How did you all celebrate beating South Africa?
In the Hilton hotel in Brighton with lots and lots of drinks!

It was a long time away from my family and friends, but the experience and wonderful memories I gained money could never buy. Absolutely amazing!!!