Springbok rugby hero Bryan Habana has shared his DNA information giving the world a look at his genetic power, endurance and recovery disposition. The release of Habana’s personal genetic information is part of a global challenge to rugby players across the world to have their DNA tested and analysed.
Global vision – Habana has joined the vision by global biotechnology company DNAFit to create the largest rugby genetic database in the sporting world, and has put his money where his mouth is by being one of the first professional rugby players in the world to be tested.
Setting the ambitious target of 1000 rugby samples genotyped for research and analysis by the end of 2018, Habana said he had released his personal genetic code and associated information “to encourage other players from around the world to do their DNA test and help build this very important database.”
Habana did a simple mouth swab test from DNAFit to collect a DNA sample, which looked at 45 genes known to determine power, endurance and recovery. Supported by independent research, the test used the DNAFit Peak Performance Algorithm, based on validated genetic variant scoring methods, to determine Habana’s personal genetic score for power/endurance response and other important information to assist training.
Unsurprisingly, as one of the best wings in South African rugby history, Habana’s DNA revealed he is genetically pre-disposed to be a very well-rounded athlete.
Analysing his results and looking back at his career, Habana believes the information could have made a huge difference to his performance. “As a legacy, I want other players and athletes to have the opportunity of understanding the make-up of their DNA and how best to train as a result. Looking at these results and what they say about my genetic make-up means that I probably could have pushed myself further in certain areas and who knows the difference this could have made?”
Already a decorated rugby superstar, world cup winner and international icon, Habana understands the difference between winning and losing. “It’s sometimes that 1%, the smallest of margins that can be the difference between winning and losing. This information and data gives you that edge,” he said.
Realising the difference that this could have made in his own career, Habana has launched an initiative aimed at helping rugby players from around the world become better, faster, healthier and stronger players.
“Through the use of science and understanding how we are made, we can develop the ability to create programs using DNA information that will bring out the best of us and change the way people train and possibly the way positions are chosen.”
“Gathering these samples and hopefully many more, has the potential to make a huge impact into our understanding of how to truly unlock our full potential.”