Chester Williams

Rugby runs in the blood for me, a tackling Springbok back. My father, Wilfred, featured for the old Federation as a fullback, centre, flank and No.8 in his hey-day. Wilfred played against the British Lions in 1974 and the French in 1975.

I was introduced to rugby at the tender age of 8 years old at the Klein Nederburg Secondary School. In I played my first provincial game for Western Province. Within two years I was selected to don the green and gold. Being selected for the Springboks was the greatest moment of my life. It was a big break for me and I was determined to grab my chance with both hands.

I had a dream test debut with a sparkling try in the corner. When I caught the ball I made for the corner flag but the cover defence moved across quickly to bring me down. I brushed through about three tackles, dived for the line and dotted the ball down. At first I thought I might have been tackled into touch but the ref awarded the try after speaking to the touch judge. I was a member of the South African sevens rugby team which excelled at the World Cup Sevens tournament in Edinburgh. Many watched in awe as I winged my way for a hat trick of tries.

As a child I learnt from my parents that God is a loving and caring father. It is from this father-child relationship that I draws my daily strength. Growing in this relationship has enabled me to see God's hand at work in all things and to trust him in every situation. Several years ago my faith was put to the test when my brother died and I experienced the presence of God even while walking in the shadow of death.

As an established international I am subjected to increased pressure from fans and opponents alike. This is why I am so dependent on my daily walk and prayer times with God. It is this relationship with God that has enabled me to keep a perspective on my achievements on the rugby field. I am not alone in handling the pressure because of a decision I made years ago. Since then I have learned the most valuable skill a rugby player can have: The power to handle life's pressures through Jesus Christ. Through my commitment to Christ, I do my best to put the pressure back into the hands of God. And whatever the result on the filed or in life I can praise God.

It is my desire to live his life in such a way that my friends and the people around me will see Christ in me and will have the desire for a changed life by having a relationship with God.

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