Where ballers, skaters play
THE new Battery Park at the V&A Waterfront has been described as “world-class” by ballers and skaters who came out to play at the opening yesterday.
The urban park covers 1.2 hectares and includes a skate park, basketball courts, green space, shops and a canal for stand-up paddlers and kayakers.
Chief executive officer of the Waterfront, David Green, said through its pedestrian routes, it would connect Cape Town’s central business district with the Waterfront. He said the area has not been hospitable for people walking to the Waterfront, something the new urban park would change.
“Great cities in the world are defined by their parks,” he said.
The Battery Park is named after the Amsterdam Battery, which was the main coastal protection for Cape Town harbour 350 years ago. The site is historically significant because it has the remains of the battery.
Green said they had “re-purposed the old, and brought in the new” to create a space that is “very cool for residents”.
“The area used to be full of arms and soldiers. Now it is full of ballers and skaters,” he said.
Jean-Marc Johannes, from Athlone, who won the country’s first bronze in skating at the International Indonesia Games earlier this year, said the facility was world-class and was on a par with parks he has been to in other parts of the world.
He won the Cape Town Sports Council’s first award for skating in July. The sport has been included as a code for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“This is the first step for bigger things,” he said at the opening.
On the basketball courts, 60 teams took part in a competition to mark the opening. Teams from Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Worcester, Gauteng and overseas, including ballers from Sweden, put the ball through hoops.
Green said the next long-term project would be to connect the Waterfront to Sea Point and Green Point.
• Entry to Battery Park is free and it is open seven days a week.
SKATEBOARDERS try out the new facilities at the park.
SIXTY basketball teams took part in a competition to mark the opening of the park.