Field of dreams

2015-05-05 06:00

After getting the ball rolling for a youth programme in Sharedon Park, Retreat ratepayers are now setting their eyes on a local sports field.

Sharedon Park Ratepayers’ Forum chairperson Eric Bailey, however, says they have already had a few challenges with regard to gaining access to the Allenby Sports Field.

“We would like to use the sports field in our area so our youth can participate in positive activities. This forms part of our safety plan for the area,” Bailey says.

According to Bailey they have been met with a few challenges along the way to creating a safer environment in their neighbourhood.

“We have mentioned the plans to our ward councillor and she is aware of the plans – we have to effect change in the community. In the interim we have spoken to more officials at the City of Cape Town to help us get access to the sports field in our area on a regular basis,” he adds.

Bailey says the five-point safety plan identified for the area includes involving and focusing on the youth.

“Our children need a safe environment to grow up in. We want to relaunch soccer clubs, as well as different sporting codes in our area. This is why we need access to the facilities in our area to ensure we get maximum results from the safety plan,” he says.

Bailey says applying for access to the sports field has been problematic and the process has been a “challenge”.

“We want our community to make use of the fields and open spaces in the area. In this way we will be warding off loiterers in the area who use these open spaces and fields for ill activities.

“We have asked our ward councillor to help us access this specific field. Initially we were told by (Marita) Petersen (ward councillor) and the nature reserve that the field is not conducive for ball play. But then a while after we saw youths from Westlake using this exact same space to practise soccer. We just feel it is unfair,” he says.

Bailey says they have since approached mayoral committee member for community services and special projects Belinda Walker with their challenges.

Walker says any club or organisation who wishes to utilise a playing field should approach the Sport, Recreation and Amenities (SRA) department facility officer responsible for a specific field.

“The facility officer will be able to assist and guide them through the booking process. It is important to note that the playing fields have usage thresholds which the SRA Department endeavours to adhere to in order to ensure that the quality of the fields is not compromised,” Walker says.

She adds that a playing field may also sometimes seem as if it is available or unused, but this is only because it is not ready and available for a certain time.

“While there are obligations to the formalised sporting fraternity to prioritise formal usage and fixtures, there is room for informal usage. The City encourages residents to engage the responsible officials to see how all can be best accommodated,” she says.

Walker adds there are about 800 sports clubs based at 151 multi-code City-owned sports grounds.

“In terms of the facilities’ sustainability, this is a large number to accommodate. We therefore encourage new clubs also to explore using alternative venues at schools and other institutions,” Walker says.

Walker adds there is a tariff schedule which covers all types of usage per hour. This applies for individual playing fields and the schedules are available from officials.

“Residents should contact the area office where they will be directed to the relevant line officials who will be able to assist them in making a booking and ultimately using a playing field,” Walker concludes.


The details for playing fields can be found on the City’s website:


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