From athlete to coach - with Victor Hounou

We’re all about celebrating those who make a difference in the sports community - and Victor Hounou is one of those individuals. As a former professional athlete and rugby player, he now brings his passion for sport and health into the lives of others through personal coaching.

Victor picked up the passion for sport as a kid when playing rugby with his older brothers. His dream came true, as he became part of the Danish national team in 2012. Recently, he signed with the English team, Kenilworth RFC, but when covid hit he was forced to find a new path and a goal to pursue.

He started his own business as a personal trainer, and today he coaches athletes to help them find their goals and strengths, and become better versions of themselves.

I learned that whatever your dream or goal is, you can achieve it, you just gotta find out where your strength is, and then work towards getting even better at it.” 

If you are curious to know more about Victor’s story, please read the full interview below.

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Could you start by introducing yourself?

My name is Victor Hounou and I am 28 years old. I was born and raised in Amager (Copenhagen, Denmark) but now I live in Østerbro (Copenhagen, Denmark). On a daily basis, I am part time responsible for activities for children and young people in the Urban Plan in Amager. In addition to that I started my own business in 2021, as a personal trainer.

What is your personal athletic story and experience with sport?

I started playing rugby when I was 7 years old. It caught my interest because my two older brothers also played, and I have loved the sport since I saw my brothers playing it the first time. I have always been told that I was too short to play, but I never gave up the dream of being one of the best. I became part of the national team in 2012 and still at that time I was constantly being reminded of my size and height. I may be short, but I’m fast as lightning, and I learned that whatever your dream or goal is, you can achieve it, you just gotta find out where your strength is, and then work towards getting even better at it. 

I came to a point where I wanted to see if rugby could take me beyond the borders of Denmark, so in 2020 I became a member of the English team, Kenilworth RFC, but then covid came, and I had to go back to Denmark. That experience repeated itself again in 2021, where I went back to Kenilworth and then another lockdown came, and my dream of playing for an international team started to burst. After a long soulsearch I realized that I couldn’t sit around and wait for covid to vanish, so I made new dreams and goals for myself and started my business as a personal trainer. 

In the summer of 2018 I completed my education at Paul Petersen's Sports Institute. My interest in health and fitness became a major focus in my lifestyle. The institute gave me a degree in PE teaching and a Personal Trainers certificate and PE Major in classic sport & health.

What role does sport play in your life now?

Sport plays a huge role in my life. In addition to still playing rugby, I train 4-5 times a week. I’m not very good at doing nothing, I have too much energy that I need to burn off. Sport helps to clear my mind and I like the feeling of continuously getting better at something. Besides that I enjoy getting creative with my exercises so I can become faster, stronger and more explosive. I spend a lot of time researching for new creative and fun exercises that I can use myself, but also incorporate when I train others. 

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Can you explain what your motivation and passion is to keep going?

I know in my heart that sports and exercise is going to play a key role in my life for as long as I am able to, so it’s natural for me to make it a living. I come from a loving family who have always been there for me and therefore I have always enjoyed helping others. 

What inspired you to start your own business as a coach?

I have had the thought for many years, but for a long time, what held me back was “to get out there” and really do it. I guess it started with me just training people in my circle of friends, and then it picked up speed when the first lockdown came. At that time, I was spending a lot of time training my nephews and their friends who play high-level football. I could see and feel that they really enjoyed the training and the exercises I presented to them and that, among other things, motivated me to go harder. 

What are the most important aspects when it comes to coaching?

For me it is meeting the person where they are. A big part of being able to perform is about the mentality and with my PEP certification from Sapiens Performance, I am qualified to provide tools, to hopefully help my clients become better athletes and versions of themselves. 

What are your future plans and dreams with your coaching business and sports in general?

My plan is to get my own place with training facilities, so I can primarily work from there. It would make everything a lot easier, both in terms of the logistics, but also in terms of the fact that I would have time to take in and help many more clients. In terms of Rugby, I still haven’t quite given up the dream of playing for an international team, but right now my focus is on personal training.