Balance is the key thing I’ve applied to my life

Bryan George Williams' nickname is BeeGee and it suits him. BeeGee is extroverted, entertaining, and belts out a mean tune on the guitar. But what SuperSeniors Champion BeeGee is most known and loved for is the contribution he’s made to the game of rugby.

BeeGee was an All Black from 1970 -1978. He was also a former coach for the Samoan national rugby team and President of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

“In the days before professional sports, players had to make their own way in life. You needed to get a career in addition to being an All Black. That meant getting up early and going to work. I got my LLB in 1974 and went into practice as a Conveyancing Lawyer."

Bryan Williams

"People ask me how I managed to do it all. My philosophy is simple – it’s just one word – BALANCE. Whenever things start to get out of kilter, I go back to that word to get on the right track."

"I mentor lots of young people particularly rugby players who’ve got lots of talent but they get the balance wrong. No matter what you do in life you need to get the balance right if you’re going to succeed."

Volunteer work

“I’ve always put my hand up to volunteer. I like the feeling of making our community and society a better place. Lots of influences in people’s lives are destructive. The drug problem in New Zealand is becoming more prevalent, child abuse is a real issue and youth suicide needs to be addressed. It’s important, if you’re in a bad place, to find someone who’ll listen and act on what they’re saying."

“As you get older you get a lot of pleasure out of helping people. I was the Ambassador for the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland, recruiting volunteers, and running training sessions."

Respect for the elderly

“My mother-in-law lived with us for the four years before she passed away at age 95. It was great having her around. We used to do the cross word and code cracker every day. For Polynesians, family is at the centre. Caring for one another and looking after the vulnerable ones in your family is part of that. It sickens me to the core to think people would abuse their elders.”

Bryan Williams

Positive ageing tips

“Stay busy and active. Engage with people; family and friends. Reach out and join a club or organisation. Get as much exercise as you can."

"I’ve had a couple of hip replacements, so it’s important for me to stay agile and active. I bowl socially and do a lot of cycling around the Cox’s Bay Park. I play golf and have some gym gear at home where I work out."

What now?

“I love spending time with my 13 grandchildren. One of our daughter’s lives next door to us so we have lots of family contact. I’m still heavily involved in the Ponsonby Rugby Club – it’s my second home. I’m also a Patron of the NZ Barbarians, a Trustee of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation, Chair of the Wishbone Trust and on the Board of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame."

“It’s lucky I’m retired because I don’t know how I could now possibly work and fit all this in.”