Maama Molitika represented Cardiff Blues, Celtic Warriors and Bridgend during his rugby days in Wales.
Since retiring last April at the age of 45 after playing for English side Ampthill, the Tongan has now turned his focus on sharing his knowledge with others.
Molitika set up his own business called ‘Maama Molitika Fitness,’ which is based in Barry.
He explained how much of a passion fitness is for himself.
“The fitness side of it I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve always enjoyed keeping fit,” he said.
“Personally for myself, I plan to carry on keeping active, keeping fit as much as I can and as long as I can. To help others as well to achieve their goals and help them with mental health, weight loss, etc.”
With the outbreak of Covid 19, Molitika has been hugely impacted in how he can operate the business.
“It has been going okay. Obviously, the lockdown is a massive hit on that. I had to go and do some online live classes – bodyweight workouts.
“It’s just to keep everyone active and exercise during this tough time.
“I’ve always loved to be involved in rugby. Helping and coaching youngsters at the moment just to give back to the community and share my experience.”
During his Cardiff Blues days, the back rower won two pieces of silverware.
The first came against Gloucester in 2009, where the capital region hammered the Cherry and Whites 50-12 at Twickenham to lift the EDF Energy Cup, also known as the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
The big score was helped by a brace of tries each by Leigh Halfpenny and Ben Blair.
Molitika believes it was one of his all-time rugby moments.
“It was awesome. It was a great highlight – one of my career highlights.
“We went down to Twickenham. It was a nice, sunny day. They had a great team as well.
“We came away with not just a win, but we battered them in terms of our performance. We were first class from the first whistle to the end.
“It was a great day for us as a team and group. Obviously, the supporters as well. It was special”
However, the following month saw Cardiff lose an agonising match to English giants Leicester in the semi-final of the European Heineken Cup at the Millennium Stadium (now Principality Stadium).
After 80 minutes of rugby plus extra time, the scores were level at 26-26, meaning the historic match would be decided by a penalty shootout.
After Martyn Williams missed, Leicester pounced, and Jordan Crane secured their spot in the final to play Leinster.
Molitika says he still thinks about that match today.
“It’s stalled in the back of my mind. You have to live with it for the rest of your life I suppose to go out like that in the semi-final.
“All the way through – our home and away games – we won all our pool games.
“We were unbeaten until the semi-final against Leicester. To lose out on penalty kicks is heart-breaking. It’s one of those. We were gutted.”
He didn’t have to wait long for another shot at European success.
The following year his side had found themselves in a European Challenge Cup final against Toulon in Marseille.
Tries from Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts and Bradley Davies were enough to clinch the title 28-21.
“Another career highlight. We made history by (being) the first Welsh team to win a European cup, which is pretty special,” Molitika said.
“We made history for ourselves personally and Cardiff Blues. It was another great day. It was even more special because we beat them in their backyard.
“Going into the game, they were unbeaten at home. They had superstars. They had a dream team – Sonny Bill Williams, Tana Umage.
“It was great overall. We had the belief. We had the players to go out there and win.
“No one expected us to win that day. We turned up and did the job.
“Sea of red – about 50,000 people at the stadium. There were only a few hundred Cardiff Blues supporters.”