Historic club to get new look

2014-11-24 00:00

THE Berea Rovers Sports Club lives to see another day, and is set to undergo some ­improvement to boot.

This follows weeks of worry and active campaigning to keep the historic club from being kicked out to make way for a soccer academy.

Last week, the club and Hoy Park Management agreed to partner on the project at the King’s Park Sports Development Centre, alleviating fears that the club’s 125-year legacy would come to an end.

Berea Rovers chairperson ­Dave Stevens confirmed ­yesterday that the club would not have to find a new home.

Although the plans are still conceptual, Stevens said a new clubhouse would be built to replace the old clubhouse, which has been standing for 38 years.

“They will be building us a new clubhouse in the same ­precinct. Obviously it’s all on the drawing board and they will liaise with us in terms of the ­facilities that will be built,” ­Stevens said.

Hoy Park Management are set to partner with the ­eThekwini Municipality and Liverpool Football Club to build a football academy, but it is now becoming increasingly clear that the precinct will be ­multi-disciplinary in light of Durban’s bid to host the 2020 Commonwealth Games.

“We have a dream to provide an opportunity to every young sportsman or woman, no matter which sport they choose to pursue. We are mindful of Berea Rovers’ role in Durban and we believe that it forms part of the city’s vision to develop a greater King’s Park Sporting Precinct, in their pursuit of hosting the Commonwealth Games,” Hoy Park Management’s managing director Carlos Catalino said.

“The Sports Development Centre will benefit more than just the players themselves as graduates in sports-related industries will now have a chance to work at the centre,” he said.

The Cyril Geoghegan cycling Velodrome was also saved from the wrecking ball and is set to be ­resurfaced and covered with an anti-slip paint.

There has been plenty of opposition to the development but it seems stakeholders are ­finally being consulted.

Rovers now will benefit too from a long-standing relationship between eLan Property Group CEO Mark Taylor and Berea Rovers president Dave Henry, chairperson ­Stevens and Kieran Connell, who worked ­together to formulate an ­agreement.

“As a member of Berea ­Rovers since 1988, I, together with Hoy Park Management ­engaged with the club and ­discussed a wish list. It is a ­credit to both parties that we managed to satisfy the vast ­majority of these requests.

“By coming to a resolution, Rovers will maintain their ­legacy and be a sustainable club for many years to come. It is now our goal to engage with ­local schools, so that they may also utilise some of these world-class facilities at King’s Park,” Taylor said.

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