Stadium home to Olympic heroes?

2017-09-19 06:00

A recommendation has been made by the City of Cape Town’s naming and nomination committee that residents be invited to speak their mind on a proposal to create a heroes’ wall at the Green Point Athletics ­Stadium.

Premier Helen Zille last year proposed that the stadium be renamed after Wayde van Niekerk in honour of him winning an Olympic gold medal and setting a new 400m world record at the Olympic Games in Rio.

The proposal was recently discussed by the premier, mayor Patricia de Lille and Brett Herron, the naming and nomination committee chairperson.

It was agreed that the City would not proceed with the proposed renaming, but rather ask the public for comment about a proposal to erect a heroes’ wall at the stadium to honour all the athletes who have achieved Olympic hero status,says Herron.

“This proposal is more inclusive and complies with the naming policy. Should the City in the end decide to go ahead with the heroes’ wall, it would give us the opportunity to honour and celebrate all of our great athletes – those who have made us proud at the Olympic Games in the past, and those still to come. The wall can be used to celebrate not only athletes who participate in track items but in any Olympic sporting code.”

City officials have consulted with the stadium’s management, who have proposed that the current gabion wall at the rear of the stadium be used for this purpose. The wall is about 160m long.

“It is still early days. Should the mayor agree with the proposal, we will also consult with our residents and ask them for their views during a public participation process.

“Nothing will happen until such time as the public participation process has been concluded and the proposal has been considered and approved by full council,” says Herron.

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