Kazakhstan coach eager to continue coaching journey.
Natalia Vlassova’s rugby journey mirrors the progress made by Kazakhstan, one of the emerging forces in Asian rugby.
Vlassova first played rugby as a 12-year-old, when she was a student at a sports school. She then discovered a passion and aptitude for coaching when she was given the chance to organise a rugby tournament while at university seven years ago.
“I was offered the opportunity to run a rugby tournament with children at a school. I enjoyed the work of a coach, which I found interesting and diverse,” Vlassova told World Rugby.
“I enjoy creating an atmosphere, to educate and teach players to be strong and brave. I like to see the fruits of my work.
“I like to look at the students and understand how much their game has changed. There’s nothing holding me back – I love rugby and I don’t see myself in any other profession.”
Vlassova now coaches at a specialist rugby school and is also the physical training coach of Kazakhstan’s national women’s team where she works alongside Tugambegova Mahabbat, one of her coaching role models.
“She was my first coach and is a strong and charismatic person,” Vlassova said.
“I like her character and the way she treats her work, very tenderly and with dignity. I also like her style of work - the goals and tasks that she sets for herself – and she will do everything to ensure that the team is on top.”
Vlassova will be exposed to fresh ideas and different rugby philosophies at the Gallagher High Performance Academy, which is something she is relishing.
“I hope to gain knowledge, professional development, communication, exchange of experience in the field of strategic knowledge,” she said.