Mabopane learners get multi-purpose sports centre

Saturday, July 6, 2013
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria – Grade 10 learner, Lerato Tshivhula, is excited about the multi-purpose sports court which is to be built at her school in Mabopane because it will not only develop her sports skills and that of her peers, but keep her focused and out of trouble.

“I am so excited that this initiative has been brought to my school. The facility will help to improve our skills in the different sporting codes of our choice. Most importantly, I think the facility will help some of us as young girls avoid teenage pregnancy and drug abuse as we will be more focused on participating in sports and on our studies,” Lerato told SAnews.

She was speaking at the sod-turning ceremony for the multi-purpose sports court which will be built at Mabopane High School, north of Pretoria on Saturday.

Simon Motsweni, a Grade 9 learner from the neighbouring MH Baloyi High School, said: “I like playing basketball, so I believe that once this facility is complete, I will start playing the sport I like so much.”

His classmate, Keamokgetswi Ramarumo, who plays for the school’s girl’s football team said: “I can’t wait for this facility to be completed, so that I can’t also harness my netball skills. I fully support this initiative as it will also promote healthy lifestyle to us.”

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, who attended the ceremony, said the centre was expected to develop the sports skills of learners from the school and others nearby in various sporting codes.

The minister, who also planted a tree at the school adjacent to where the facility is going to be built, said government was initiating projects like this to as part of the fight against drugs as well as the campaign to build a healthy nation.

“Through this facility, I am hopeful we are going to produce more champions. We are saying to the community of Mabopane this sporting facility is going to take our children away from things like nyaope.”

Mbalula also officiated at a sod turning ceremony for an outdoor gymnasium next to the Mabopane library and distributed sporting equipment to ten local schools.

The hundreds of residents who braved the cold weather applauded when he said while government sought to identify and nurture talent at the grassroots level through schools sport programme, the construction of an outdoor gym should send a clear message that there is no more time for parties.

“We are building the outdoor gym so that even our senior citizens must also exercise. Here we will be nurturing talent and promoting a healthy community,” he said.

School Principal of Mabopane High, Roy Victor Dlamini, said the facility was not going to become a white elephant.

“As a school we will make sure that all our learners participate in various sporting codes. Gone are the days where schools operate in isolation from their communities. This is going to be used by us, neighbouring schools and the community.”

Representing Sports Trust, which will be constructing the facility in partnership with the Department of Sports and Recreation, Obakeng Oganne said building would start next month.

He said the sport court would have a 20- year lifespan and a 15-year warranty. “As opposed to other courts, this one is a multi-purpose one which caters for four or more sporting codes. It has been approved by a lot of international federations. Schools can also utilise it for life orientation.”

He said the centre would be a communal facility. - SAnews.gov.za

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