Inspiring! Edwill van der Merwe’s teacher recalls his childhood dream

Inspiring! Edwill van der Merwe’s teacher recalls his childhood dream

Edwill van der Merwe has received the public praise of his grade one teacher after not only making his Springbok debut over the weekend but winning the Man of the Match award, too!

The 28-year-old was one of several new faces on the South African national team that beat Wales 41-13 in Twickenham.


After the match, Edwin van der Merwe shared an Instagram post expressing his gratitude. The Stellenbosch-born player posted pictures of himself during and after the game. He captioned the post with a Bible verse that spoke of perseverance, faith, and hope.

Naturally, many of Edwill’s followers were touched by his humility and determination.

In the comment section was an equally heartwarming comment from Edwill’s primary school teacher, Karin Soyez.

The Eikestad Primary School educator shared: “Edwill, this grade one teacher of yours is so proud of you! You already told me, ‘Miss, I am going to become a famous rugby player one day!”.

“And there you surpass yourself! Many congratulations”.

Edwill graciously thanked his teacher for her kind words.


Meanwhile, Eikestad Primary School posted pictures of a young Edwill van der Merwe showing off his rugby skills on the pitch.

“From barefoot rugby in 2009 on Eikestad Primary School’s fields to the Green and Gold over his shoulders in 2024

“Eikestad is incredibly proud of you, Edwill”.

𝘃𝗮𝗻 𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗲

Van kaalvoetrugby in 2009 op Laerskool Eikestad se velde tot die…

Posted by Laerskool Eikestad on Saturday 22 June 2024

Edwill – who later went to the Paul Roose Gymnasium Boys High School – has often spoken of his love for his community in Kylemore. He even sported the area code -7608 – proudly on his wrist tape during his debut.

The 28-year-old also has the number printed on his rugby boots.

Springboks Edwill van der Merwe and Jordan Hendrikse sported special messages on their wrist tapes.
Images via Instagram:
@edwill_vdm/ @jordanhendrikse

Speaking to SABC Sport ahead of his first Boks game, Edwill said: “I come from a very small town outside Stellenbosch called Kylemore…very proud people. People who love rugby.

“When I got the call to the first training camp – everyone has been sending messages. The primary school even made little posters for me.

“So I don’t just carry my own dream with me, but the people of my community.  I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play for South Africa. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little boy. I can finally make my dreams become reality.