Athlete; former Hong Kong rugby player; project manager, Ultimate Performance
You’ve probably caught Daniella Means in a rugby game or two. The athlete, who became a gymnast at just 6 years old, started playing rugby at 16 and completed her first Sevens game as part of the Hong Kong women’s team on her 18th birthday.
Since then, she has played in the Asian Championships and the Asia World Cup Qualifier, represented Hong Kong as a rugby 7s and 15s player, and is certified as a rugby coach under the IRB as well as a personal trainer under the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
In between her impressive career as an athlete, Means had a year-long stint in the public relations industry. In the end, she came full circle and began working full-time in sports. “PR pulled me into a world of socializing, eating and drinking, which didn’t exactly complement my athletic aspirations,” she explains. Following a role in the fitness industry, she was offered a contract by the HKRU and went on to play rugby full-time until 2014.
More recently, she won a silver medal at the Strongman contest at the Arnold Classic Asia multi-sport festival, beating fellow contestants in the under 63.5kg category. She’s also currently working as a project manager at Ultimate Performance.
There have been struggles throughout her journey, however. As a pro rugby player, Means was “getting injured constantly”, while she was also diagnosed with depression. She credits strength training with helping her overcome challenges. “It has become an integral part of improving my mental health by giving me structure — a system I can work by — and little achievable goals, one day at a time.”
Her very first job? Interning at a public relations company.