ALBERT VAN DER BERG
As one of the new Springboks to wear the green and gold for the first time during the Tri-Nations tournament, Albert van den Berg has made a great impact. Following injuries to Mark Andrews and Krynaauw Otto he was given his first proper opportunity against the All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld. Van der Berg acquitted himself outstandingly against the world s most physically competitive team.
He continued to win good line out ball despite the fierce attentions of the opposition. One of his outstanding qualities is his lightning quick speed. He is known to be the quickest of the Springbok forwards and even faster than many of the backs as well. At 2,01 metres and 104,7 kilograms, Albert stands out in the Springbok team. Not only because of his size but because he is a deeply committed Christian who is always ready to share his faith with others. I grew up in a Christian home and regularly prayed and read the Bible.
After school I went to work at Vanderbylpark. On the 26th February, 1994. I remember the day well, I said to the Lord. I am not going to go back, I want to be 100 percent committed to You. I don't want to be part of the world and its system and way of life. I want to be a true child of God.
At Vanderbijlpark where he went to learn a trade at Iscor. Former Springbok, Gerrie Sonnekus was the first to raise his sights to include Springbok colours. Gerrie once told me, One day you'll play for South Africa. That was probably the first time I began to think about it seriously, he recalls. Before deciding to become a full-time professional rugby player he prayed very hard for guidance. But once the decision was made he found it deeply satisfying as he was able to concentrate on the game he loved and develop to his full potential.
Being a Christian makes a huge difference in my life. My whole life changed the day the Lord came into my life. In both small things and big. I can pray and ask the Lord to lead me and guide me and He answers. I could not do without the Lord nor try to live without Him He is my strength and power. I know that when I wake in the morning I must start the day with Him in order to get through the day.