Sports complex boost

2011-02-01 00:00

The future of the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre is promising, says Lindani Mzotho, the Ugu District Municipality’s (UDM) acting manager of communications.

The centre, which cost national and provincial government R102 million to construct, was built with the primary intention of hosting the Algerian national football side’s training sessions during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Since the end of the tournament in July last year, questions have arisen as to how the centre will be able to sustain itself financially. Mzotho says he is confident that it can.

“The facility has since become home to three local soccer teams in the Vodacom and SAB Leagues,” said Mzotho.

“Partnerships of such calibre, which are also aimed at directing the facility to self-sustainability, continue emerging as Ugu is currently finalising a lease agreement with the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union (SKZNRU) to equip, maintain and manage the gymnasium.”

Mzotho added that the SKZNRU have expressed an interest in basing themselves at the complex and that a high-profile provincial rugby match has already been confirmed to take place at the venue.

Other avenues outside of rugby are being explored as a means of generating an income for the centre.

The centre management is examining various sponsorship options — for the construction of a cricket pitch, among others — “with a view to roping in more sporting federations”.

Mzotho said the business units that are included in the centre’s makeup will be used as a source of income.

“These include the indoor sports centre, which is currently playing host to many events from social to business functions. Other business units include the two conference rooms and the boardroom that are busy on average for two days per week.”

It is here where the private sector will have to play its part in the success of the centre by booking these function venues, says Mzotho.

The president of the SKZNRU, Juno Fourie, said the venue offers a fantastic opportunity to continue to host rugby events on the South Coast.

“We will certainly be looking to host matches, tournaments and events at what is a fantastic venue,” said Fourie.

“We are currently in the processes of finalising talks that will allow us to make use of the gymnasium.”

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