Solid football foundation laid

2011-11-19 16:09

The Football Turfs Legacy Programme has already laid 27 artificial football pitches, one more than half the envisaged 52 for all the South African Football Association (Safa) regions.

The move is thanks to funding to the tune of R170.1 million from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDF).

The first football turf was laid in Mogwase, North West Province in 2009 at The Holy Family Combined School and was the first of eight facilities benefiting from an original allocation of R81 million from the fund.?Today, 27 turfs – which is three in each province – have been laid, with the last in Edenburg, Free State.

Project manager Joe Carrim said: “The construction of all these facilities is now complete, barring a few hitches with electrical and water supply in the more rural areas but this should be resolved in the coming weeks.”

He added that all the football turfs had been tested to match Fifa requirements.

The building of the turfs is part of a Fifa project aimed at ensuring that South Africa continues to reap the benefits of hosting the World Cup.

A new structure will soon take over and continue with this programme as well as other football development projects.

This is the Safa Infrastructure Development Foundation (IDF), a trust that was formed to look after proceeds from the World Cup, which are close to ­­­R1 billion.

The IDF is built on the model of the LOC, which consisted of members from Fifa, Safa, SA government and business.

Carrim told City Press: “Additional partners have come on board to support the programme with community development initiatives such as the Foundation for a Safe South Africa, Dreamfields, Microsoft SA, Torque-It, Kelly Group, Lovelife, Sport for Social Change Network, the International Marketing Council, Supersport (through their Let’s Play project) and the National Youth Development Agency.”

The IDF is expected to hold its first meeting before the end of the year.

In a recent interview, National Lotteries Board chairperson Professor Alfred Nevhutanda affirmed his support for the initiative.

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