Communities across Gauteng can look forward to a brighter future in sport following the successful completion of improvements to their run down sports facilities in Sebokeng, Soweto, Johannesburg and Orange Farm this week.
The facility upgrades are part of the Gauteng Sports Confederation and the Gauteng Gambling Board’s partnership to upgrade community sports facilities across the province. Under the programme some 16 projects – including the upgrading of facilities for football; netball, squash, baseball, tennis, boxing – have been identified and are at various stages of completion.
Among the latest project to be completed are:
- The restoration and extension of the gym building for the JD boxing club in Soweto;
- A new outfield and astro turf for the Orange Farm Cricket Club in Orange Farm;
- New practice nets and astro turf for the Sebokeng Cricket Club in Sebokeng;
- New squash courts at the Gazankulu Primary School in Soweto;
- Refurbished interior for the Portuguese Hall indoor sports facility in Turffontein;
- Refurbished interior for the Danie van Zyl indoor sports facility in Montclare, Johannesburg;
The JD boxing club in Soweto was the first to receive its upgrades with the project’s first phase being the installation of a fence to ensure safety and appointing four community members to clean the area which has also created employment. The height of the gym was increased to allow the structure of the boxing ring to fit in the hall and the walls were plastered and painted. Among other upgrades a security room was built in the backyard and the old roof was replaced with a new one.
“These upgrades of the club will help with keeping the youth out of the streets and keeping them active, after all an active body keeps a healthy mind,” said JD boxing club manager Vusi Malinga said. “Just maybe a future baby Jake Matlala or Sugar Boy Malinga can come from this club.”
Now with the One Day International cricket in session aspiring cricket players from Orange Farm and Sebokeng can host their own ODI and T20 matches in their back yard. The project identified funds to purchase a new astro turfs for the wickets as it will be rolled out for games and rolled up again after.
Sebokeng Cricket Club manager Jeffrey Charlie said the team was delighted with their new facility. “We take our cricket very seriously in this part of the world and we are very proud of the revamp. It’s going to enhance our ability to prepare and compete and certainly give up motivated to do well.”
GSC President Barry Hendricks said he was happy with the progress made to date.
“As the GSC we are glad that we could contribute to such wonderful sporting codes that have for many years served as a beacon of hope amid dire socio-economic realities,” Hendricks said. “We hope to see many more sports stars emerge from these communities. Sports in these communities will never be the same again.”