Wayne to get ‘own’ stadium

2016-10-04 06:00

A proposal for the renaming of the Green Point Athletics Stadium has been proposed by the premier.

Premier Helen Zille has written to mayor Patricia De Lille proposing the renaming of the stadium in honour of world athletic champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Van Niekerk represented South Africa at the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he won in the men’s 400m final.

Making historyHis performance – running the 400m in a time of 43.03 seconds – not only secured him the gold medal, but broke the seventeen-year old record of 43.18 seconds set by Michael Johnson during the 1999 World Championship.

“Van Niekerk flew South Africa’s flag high and did the nation proud,” Zille says.

In 2015 he also won the gold in the 400m final at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing.

Van Niekerk is also the first person in history to run faster than 10 seconds for 100 metres, 20 seconds for 200 metres and 44 seconds for 400 metres.

“These are extraordinary feats, especially for a 24-year-old university student. I believe it would be appropriate to honour Van Niekerk by renaming the current Green Point Athletics Stadium after him. He has not only done the country proud, but also his home city and province,” says Zille. “The renaming of the stadium would not only serve as a reminder of his incredible story, but as an inspiration to many other young people – demonstrating that anything is possible, with the right combination of discipline, hard work and dedication.”

Following processDe Lille’s spokesperson, Pierrinne Leukes, says: “We have received the proposal from the premier. Now we will follow due process which includes a submission of the proposal to the Naming Committee. Once they have met they will conduct an extensive public participation comment period of a month, after which they make a recommendation to the mayor.”

The mayor will then take the recommendation to full council for all councillors to vote on it. The overall process from start to finish can take at least three months, Leukes says.

“Each process, however, is unique depending on the scope of what is to be named or renamed.”

Zille added that the renaming of such an important facility in any city should serve to incorporate the interests of those who live there.

V Email your views to letters@peoplespost.co.za.

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