Multi-use sports centre ‘done deal’

2015-05-21 06:00

IF all goes according to plan Pietermaritzburg could have a multimillion-rand performance sports facility

at the Pietermaritzburg airport, which will be part of the proposed technology hub to be built there.

The proposal includes a velodrome with an indoor cycling track that hopefully, will attract Europe’s best cyclists during that continent’s winter months.

The initiative is spearheaded by the Union Cycleste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for sports cycling, which oversees international competitive cycling events in Aigle, Switzerland.

Co-ordinator of the Bike City Project Alec Lenferna said this proposal was still in the planning and discussion phase. He said there was a possibility of it being a multi-use sport centre with table tennis, gymnastics, judo and other sports.

If the plan bears fruit, it will benefit professions such as dieticians, physiotherapist and anti-doping agency officers.

Clive Coetzee, the manager for infrastructure and economic services at the provincial treasury, was more bold.

“It’s a done deal, it’s a question of time on when this will be built.”

Coetzee told delegates during the Msunduzi i nvestor conference that plans of building a technology hub at the airport were moving rapidly.

He said they had received about R120 million donor funding from the European Union to prepare the land for each of the technology hubs sites.

The velodrome was one of the exciting ideas for Pietermaritzburg with the prospect of not just attracting international visitors to the city, but also creating other sports-related industries.

Over the past few years Pietermaritzburg has hosted­ a number of local and international cycling events.

Coetzee said once it’s built, the UCI plans to move their African offices there as there will also be an office complex next to the velodrome.

“The moment this is built, the offices will be occupied, and money will be coming in. It will not sit there for two or three months without being occupied.

“These facilities will be used by South African and European cyclists who will come here to train during the winter periods in Europe.”

The Msunduzi Municipality was approached for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press

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