Pieter grew up in the small Western Cape town of Darling. At school he was an active participant in a number of sports. In fact he was something of an all-rounder who excelled at cricket and athletics.
At high school he struggled to find a regular place in the school first rugby team and only got a place in the side when others were injured. So although rugby was his first love, in his matric year he decided to concentrate on athletics.
During his first year at Stellenbosch University in 1992, Pieter was crowned Western Province senior champion in both the pole vault and high jump. Continuing severe back problems forced him to undergo highly delicate surgery. This spelt the end of his pole vaulting career. I was devastated, but eventually I accepted the situation and trusted that God had something better in store for me.
After recovering from the operation he started playing rugby again initially just low-key hostel games. But it did not take the Maties, long to recognize his talent. Within months he was in the first team squad. In 1994, after having played only seven games for the Maties first team Pieter was selected for Western Province. He then continued for three good seasons at full back, he was moved to left wing and the rest is history.
He attended a Christian camp in 1992 where somebody shared his testimony and asked the key questions, Have you come to the place in your spiritual life where you know for certain that if you were to die tonight you would go to heaven? And the second question, Suppose you were to die tonight and stand before God and He were to say, Why should I let you into my Heaven? What would you say?
This hit Pieter right between the eyes. He stopped and pondered but couldn't think of anything he had done for God that would qualify him for Heaven. He had always considered himself a fairly religious person He read his Bible and said his prayers regularly and lived a reasonable Christian life. But it was obvious that he was not right with God and not prepared to meet his maker.
That night he met with the leader of the mission team and confessed his need of a saviour and committed his life to Christ. Today he wears a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelet as a public statement. For me Jesus Christ is my first love, my first priority in life. I'm not ashamed to acknowledge that. I testify of my faith in Jesus at schools and churches. But in the end, it's all about being committed to walk the talk as best as you possibly can.