Six years ago Vaughn Scott was standing on the world stage representing New Zealand at the 2012 Olympics for Taekwondo.
Now the 28 year old has swapped the dojo for the rugby pitch of the Tumut Bulls using the skills he learnt among the worlds best athletes to help guide the Bulls in their best season in recent years.
Growing up in Auckland city, Scott moved to Australia at the start of the year to take up his position at outside centre with the Bulls in his first time living in the countryside.
Prior to his move, Scott was a proud New Zealander playing in the Auckland district rugby competition which featured, “much bigger boys’’ and was a lot more physical than the Southern Inland competition.
But Scott was more than capable of handling himself amongst the bigger players having come face to face with some of the best Taekwondo experts in the world.
Born in South Africa, Scott moved to New Zealand when he was eight before taking up Taekwondo as a 14 year old after his mother suggested it to keep him out of trouble.
And Scott quickly excelled and rose to be one of New Zealand’s best but not without plenty of hard work and dedication.
“I trained 6 days a week, 2-3 times training a day and roughly 7-8 hours of training each day,” Scott said.
“But once everything fell into place it was all worth it definitely.”
And the hard work paid off in 2012 when Scott competed in the highly competitive under-80kg weight division at the London Olympics.
“It was quite and achievement,” Scott said.
“It was eye opening experience for the Olympics to see the other sports and how its run.”
In his first match, Scott came up against Argentine fighter, Sebastián Crismanich, who would go on to win the gold medal.
“He was the dark horse in my division and it was unlucky to fight him first but I would rather fight him first than another person that loses in the second round.”
Although he didn’t take home a medal, Scott took home a wealth of experience and skills that he learnt over the course of the competition and now is finding ways to use that knowledge to accelerate his Rugby career.
“I learned quite a bit from it and just transferring it to another sport,” Scott explained.
“Just a better mindset than usual when it comes to playing another sport and making sure I’ve prepared myself for the season and that I can do all the things I can do in the positions I play.
“A lot more focusing and a lot better at making sure I do my training and all the hard yards before the season starts.”
And it seems to be working for Scott who was recently selected in the Southern Inland representative side and narrowly missing out on selection in the Brumbies provincial team due to the coach opting to pick a duel position player over Scott who can only play in the backs.
Scott has always been a talented sportsman once turning down a junior NRL scout and also excels at soccer and basketball.
And Bulls co-coach Brad Gorman couldn’t be happier with his new strike weapon saying his contribution to the team is only getting better.
“Vaughn’s been doing a great job for us,” said Gorman.
“He’s very strong in defence and just really good communication with the back three as well and has formed a really good combination.”
But for the cool, calm and collected outside centre, he’s just enjoying his time living in Tumut and looks forward to representing the Bulls each week.
“It’s been really good I can’t complain,” Scott said.
“I don’t mind playing anywhere I just want to be on the field.