A pitch to be proud of

2015-05-05 06:00

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille recently launched a R4.9m synthetic sports pitch in Kewtown, Athlone. 


Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille recently launched a R4.9m synthetic sports pitch in Kewtown, Athlone. PHOTO: supplied

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The community of Athlone and surrounding areas can now play (it) safe, after a synthetic sports pitch worth R4.9m was recently installed in Kewtown, one month before the local soccer season starts.

The pitch was launched at the Hickory Sports Field by Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille last week Tuesday.

The new pitch is part of the City of Cape Town’s efforts to invest in poorer communities in the Cape Town area, reaffirming the City’s commitment to creating an inclusive city by providing communities with quality recreational spaces that are instrumental in enabling sports development, especially for young people.

In her opening speech De Lille said that while the City has prioritised the provision of basic services to communities, it also recognises the need for recreational spaces and amenities, including sports fields.

She said sport was not only a wonderful unifier, but also allowed young people to develop a set of skills, build confidence and learn to become more disciplined and conscientious.

“Sports fields often provide a safe haven for young people, where they can avoid the lure of the many social ills, such as substance abuse, that affect our communities,” she said.

Councillor Suzette Little says developments like these will ensure that “we level the playing fields for more young people who have a dream of becoming professional sports people”.

“It will aid efforts to divert young people away from negative influences by providing them with positive recreation and competitive outlets.

“The development is also a boost for the local community as it uplifts the area and will hopefully instil a sense of pride in residents,” says Little.

According to De Lille, the City has provided 26 world-class synthetic pitches across the city since 2012.

“These pitches are all compliant with Fifa regulations, and have also been built in areas such as Langa, Hout Bay, Mitchell’s Plain, Ocean View, Bishop Lavis, Grassy Park and Nyanga.

“They represent a combined investment of R40m in our communities, which for years experienced under-investment and lack of development,” she said.

De Lille said floodlights would be installed at a cost of R827 000, so that the facility could also be used for evening matches and training.

During the construction phase, the City created work opportunities through the expanded public works programme to 20 people from the City’s job seekers database.

De Lille said this project has been beneficial to the community in many ways as the pitch was also used by four local soccer clubs, namely Chelsea FC, Barmsley Spurs FC, Avendale FC and the Kewtown Sunday League.

“The local football associations based in the Athlone area, affiliated to the South African Football Association Cape Town, will be able to use this as a base for local football development training programmes and football fixtures for the local community.

“Schools from the greater Athlone area will also be able to use this pitch for their leagues,” said De Lille.

She concluded her speech by saying: “Projects such as these are proof that there is no limit to what we can achieve when we work together as government and communities to provide opportunity and redress by investing in development initiatives.”

She also called on residents to work with the City to build communities that all can be proud of, and to look after these facilities so that future generations could also benefit from them

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