Residents of the Overstrand – and especially those of Ward 8 – will soon have access to a multi-purpose sports facility in Hawston.

On the far right is Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, with Overstrand Executive Mayor Dudley Coetzee and Overstrand Deputy Mayor Elnora Gillion at the sod-turning ceremony of the Hawston Sports Facility on Monday, 2 March. With them are Brent Viviers, Element Consulting Engineers (far left), Overstrand’s project manager Dennis Hendriks, Overstrand’s Sport and Recreation Manager Ayanda Stali and Lucian Jacobs, chairman of the Hawston Sport and Recreation Committee.

The new facility will not only feature netball and/or tennis courts and change rooms, but also a cricket oval, two soccer fields (of which one will be synthetic turf), a new tartan track to boost athletics, a golf driving range, a rugby field, as well as an indoor sports centre with clubhouse and pavilion. To improve traffic flow, an access road from Church Street will be created and the parking area will be upgraded. Spotlights were installed during a previous financial year and are already in use.

The inception phase of the project started in 2012 and after years of waiting and planning, the development’s R55 million master plan, comprising three phases, is being rolled out. The R14 million for phase 1 and 2 was sourced through a MIG (Municipal Infrastructure Grant), provided by SRSA (Sport and Recreation South Africa) with the assistance of the Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport (DCAS). The remaining phases will be completed once funding has been obtained.

Construction of the netball/tennis courts has already started and will be completed by the end of March 2020 as part of phase one.

On Monday, 2 March, shovels hit the ground to kickstart phase 2. If all goes according to plan, the netball and tennis change rooms, a soccer field, the athletic track and rugby field will be completed by the end of June this year. The construction of the second soccer field will be rolled out during the 2020/2021 municipal financial year as part of phase 3.

At the sod-turning ceremony proceedings started with a warm welcome from Deputy Mayor and Ward Councillor of Ward 8, Elnora Gillion. She paid tribute to Hawston’s sports clubs – Samrox, Rosebuds, Perseverance (with their white, black and red jerseys), Olympics and Gay Dolphins, to name but a few.

Rugby legends Cecil Marais, Ettie Gillion, Willem Morris and Frank Benjamin were there to relive memories of their great rugby days. The late Tim Figaji and the late Noël Dreyer, as well as John Abbai Figaji were honoured for their contributions on and off the rugby field.

They said it was wonderful that the younger generation would also be able to create their own memories on these fields, to teach their children and grandchildren about sport on the same fields that once saw them display their skills and attributes.

Giving some background to the project, Dennis Hendriks, Overstrand’s Senior Manager of Engineering Services, emphasised the importance of this multi-purpose venue, which will be able to cater for various sporting events and tournaments, including athletics, throughout the whole Overberg District.

He said that the existing Hawston sports grounds were and are being utilised by various sporting codes and institutions such as schools and crèches. “The rugby and cricket codes are well-established – the local rugby club ‘Hawston Skrik vir Niks’ competes in the super league and the cricket club plays in the South Boland first division. The soccer and netball teams play in the regional league,” he added.

It is hoped that the sports facility will address a number of issues, including the creation of jobs during the various phases of its construction.

Before introducing the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dudley Coetzee, acknowledged the hard work of the relevant departments within the municipality, the members of the community, as well as the Hawston Sports Committee who all worked tirelessly on the project, and who will continue working hard to host sporting events. “Let us use sport as a driver for positive change in our communities,” he added.

This sentiment was echoed by Minister Anroux Marais, who was visibly pleased to see eight new netball courts being built. “It is an exciting time for netball right now as we proactively prepare to host the 2023 Netball World Cup in the Western Cape. Tournaments of this nature significantly contribute to realising our vision of a socially inclusive and active province,” she said.

Minister Marais said she could not wait to see the completion of phase two later in the year when the change rooms and athletic track are done. She added that the Hawston Sports Facility is set to boost economic activity in the region.

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