Get­ting WC ath­letes Olympic-ready

Vuk'uzenzele - - General -

A MA­JOR UP­GRADE of a district sports com­plex in the Over­berg area means that top ath­letes and those who sim­ply love sport now have a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity to call their own.

The Over­berg’s most tal­ented young ath­letes are one step closer to reach­ing the top af­ter the up­graded Glaskas­teel Sports Com­plex in Bredas­dorp was of­fi­cially re-opened re­cently, fol­low­ing a R700 000 re­fur­bish­ment.

Glaskas­teel will serve as the hub of the Over­berg District Academy. The academy will pro­vide med­i­cal, coach­ing and sports science sup­port to 30 ath­letes from dif­fer­ent sport­ing codes from the four dif­fer­ent lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the Over­berg District.

West­ern Cape Depart­ment of Cul­tural Af­fairs and Sport (DCAS), Chief Di­rec­tor of Sport, Dr Lyn­don Bouah, said po­ten­tial academy mem­bers would be re­ferred via their re­spec­tive sport­ing bod­ies.

“We work with the var­i­ous fed­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing net­ball, foot­ball, rugby and ath­let­ics. We fa­cil­i­tate sci­en­tific tests done by ac­cred­ited ser­vice providers. They test, among other things, how far you run, your run­ning speed, etc. Af­ter all of these sci­en­tific tests are done, we in­vite you to be part of the academy if you are good enough. As the ath­letes be­come bet­ter and stronger in their cho­sen code, they im­prove their chances of qual­i­fy­ing for the South African team.”

The up­grades at Glaskas­teel in­cluded the in­stal­la­tion of a pro­jec­tor and screen, a bath­room for dif­fer­ently-abled ath­letes and a gym. The walls of the fa­cil­ity were also strength­ened and new flood­lights worth R300 000 were in­stalled on the rugby, soc­cer and cricket play­ing fields.

Glaskas­teel is also the main sports fa­cil­ity used by the gen­eral pub­lic, mean­ing play­ers who are part of af­fil­i­ated sports teams and clubs will also ben­e­fit from the up­grades. The flood­lights in par­tic­u­lar have been a wel­come ad­di­tion be­cause they al­low teams to train safely af­ter dark.

The Over­berg District Academy is one of seven in the West­ern Cape.

“Sport is the only ac­tiv­ity that re­ally keeps our young peo­ple healthy and teaches them dis­ci­pline and gives them a sense of be­long­ing, said An­roux Marais, the West­ern Cape Min­is­ter of Cul­tural Af­fairs and Sport, at the open­ing.

West­ern Cape Min­is­ter of Cul­tural Af­fairs, An­roux Marais, Cape Agul­has Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Mayor Paul Swart and Over­berg District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Mayor An­dries Franken of­fi­cially opened the up­graded Glaskas­teel Sports Com­plex.

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