Jesus is the centre of my life: RSA Sevens winger
The New Zealand Rugby team may have a reputation for being nearly invincible but South African Rugby Sevens player Seabelo Senatla never doubted his team's chances for victory at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
"Not at any point did I feel they had the edge or anything like that," says Seabelo, who amassed 10 points in the final.
"I was confident in the team and confident in the players that we could pull this off and do our country proud."
His confidence proved well placed as South Africa won the final of the Glasgow Commonwealth games 17-12, scoring in the last few minutes.
"We're just trying to do our best," Seabelo says on behalf of his team, "whenever we can."
His thriving rugby career began when he joined his team at Riebeeckstad High School in Welkom, South Africa.
His performance earned Seabelo selection in the Griffons side that played at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week tournament in 2009, as well as the Under-18 Academy Week tournament in 2010.
He played for university side CUT Ixias and after catching the attention of the Blitzbokke signed a two-year contract with the South African Rugby Union to play for them on the Sevens World Series circuit in 2013 and 2014.
He made his debut at the 2013 Wellington Sevens tournament and played in a total of five tournaments during the 2012- 2013 IRB Sevens World Series.
While his fans might attribute his success to natural talent and hard work, Seabelo does not take credit for how fruitful his career has been.
Viewers might catch a glimpse of him kneeling on the floor before a game praying to his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom he believes to be responsible for his accomplishments.
"I do it every single time before a game, I pray. I believe that I get my strength from the Lord [Jesus] and without Him I couldn't do whatever I'm doing now. So I will always glorify Him, it's all for His glory," Seabelo told Norman Brierley of Y2K+ Sports Network.In the midst of his busy training schedule and even during tournaments, Seabelo never fails to make time for God.
"I am a Christian (a follower of Jesus). I try to go to church every Sunday.
"We also have a small Bible study group in the team. On a Wednesday it is good to combine with the guys, just to talk and respond and build up our faith in Christ."
" I read my Bible every night before I sleep and when I wake up.," he says, referring to the Bible. "It's a huge factor in my life." And when out on the field, Seabelo does his part by trying to be a role model for his young fans.
"There's a lot of things that can affect kids and they can easily go astray," he says, "but good role models inspire you to do better things. I try to be a good role model to the kids back home to give them hope and let them know there is a way."
After their victory Seabelo and the team are looking ahead to the Olympic debut of Rugby Sevens in Rio in 2016, taking it one step at a time.
Personally, Seabelo will be continuing to give glory to the Lord through all his triumphs.
"I do my best to glorify His name and let people know there is a God, there is someone who looks after you and gives you strength," he says. "Sometimes you are weak, but if you focus on the Lord and make Him your centre then you are going to have peace all the time in your life." •