Hard work pays off

2013-10-15 00:00

MERLYNN is definitely looking at a making a career from rugby once his school days are over. He is on the right track having been awarded a 100% bursary to the Sharks Academy next year following his performance for the Sharks invitational side at the Wildeklawer Festival played at Maritzburg College in April this year.

“Rudolph Straeuli managed the side and liked my style of play. He offered me the opportunity with the Sharks Academy, but I still had some work to do to get a full bursary,” said Merlynn.

“I had to reach certain goals to get a 100% bursary and had two months to achieve this. It was an opportunity I could not let slip and I put my mind to things, doing the hard work, which paid off in the end.”

Merlynn had to work on his fitness and improve his speed and agility. “I was up at 5 am for gym work and focused on staying in shape and getting my body to where it should be,” he said. “After two months, I had a test at the academy where my body fat, fitness, muscle tone and all I had worked on was checked and I made the grade.”

At the academy, Merlynn has been offered a one-year bursary and will be involved in all things rugby. “I will do basic rugby certificates relating to coaching and refereeing among other things,” he said. “I am also keen to study psychology and human resources as I enjoy working with people.”

Originally from the Cape, Merlynn was given the opportunity to play rugby at Port Natal and has been in the first team for three years, playing flyhalf. He is also a handy sevens player and captained the school to victory in the inaugural sevens tournament at Voortrekker (PMB) last month.

“My main goal next year is to get a contract with the Sharks,” he said. “I have my sights set on making the Sharks U19 side and the Springbok U20 side. It’s plenty of hard work, but that’s what is needed to succeed at sport and life. I will give it about five years, see where I am and then possibly see if I can play overseas.”

Name : Merlynn Pieterse

School : Port Natal

Grade : 12

Sport: Rugby

Achievements : School 1st rugby team for three years

KZN U16B side

Harlequins U18 side

Honours for javelin

KZN U19 Athletics team 2013

Head of house

Discipline committee

Pieterse Lifestyle

Favourite players are Dan Carter and Mils Muliaina

Enjoys hitting golf balls at a driving range. Needs to work on accuracy and putting.

Plays guitar and sings

Gospel music is a favourite

Only reads school text books, his Bible, Facebook and BBM

Likes comedies and ‘chick flicks’

Is keen to hit the beach next year

Keeps busy cycling, running and going to gym

Favourite saying “If only life was like a movie and everything went to plan … ”

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