A fitness haven fit for champs

2012-01-21 21:17

The Bafokeng Sports Campus continues to be a training base of choice for sports teams. DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE took in a tour of the North West facility this week.
Amanicured landscape along a 500m stretch leads tenants and visitors to the reception area of the Phokeng, Rustenburg, sports complex.

A well-equipped High Performance Centre with a medical unit, a rehabilitation pool and six football fields make up the Bafokeng Sports Campus (BSC).

These are some of the features that sports teams say make the BSC their preferred choice for staging a training camp.

Said Royal Bafokeng Sports (RBS) managing director Floyd Mbele: “With everything under one roof, sports groups prefer us. But our five-star hotel (Marang) is what is unique about this facility and the training fields and the gym are within a walking distance.”

He said, other than football, a host of Super Rugby teams, some from Australia, set up their base there.

“Last week the Bulls came in for three days and the Lions arrived this week.

“The Sharks were also here for a couple of days.”

Ghana, Botswana and Bafana were recent national teams to stage their camps at the BSC, which is situated at a high altitude – 1?200m above sea level.

“From a convenience point a lot of teams come here because it is a one-stop shop,” said Mbele. RBS is 100% owned by Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which manages the commercial assets of the Bafokeng clan.

Former RBS director George Khunou said the Bafokeng invested more than R300 million in the 65?hectre complex.

Under its umbrella, the campus has five development codes: football, martial arts, athletics, netball and basketball. Basketball is the most recent entrant following a partnership with the NBA last year.

As one of the two commercial entities of the RBS – the other being Platinum Stars – the sports facility has generated regular income since it hosted the England team during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Said Mbele: “A lot (of money) is relative. We have to talk about long-term when some of these entities can sustain themselves. For example, we need to package the hotel separately and get to a stage where we get funding for the team (Platinum Stars).

“We should be able to break even in terms of the capital.”

Mbele said, without revealing the figures, that they have tailored a special package for Bafana.

“They get value for money and I have no doubt they would want to come back here for their 2013 Nations Cup preparations.”

Standard accommodation of bed and breakfast at the Marang Hotel is R1 315 a person sharing or suite at R7 350, both packages a day.

Eighteen months since coach Fabio Capello and the England World Cup squad checked out of the campus, it is now history that the British media once branded the facility a “dump” as they insisted that it would not be ready for the World Cup.

RBS is now planning to attract European football teams to check in during the off-season.

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