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Getting WC athletes Olympic-ready

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese

A major upgrade of a district sports complex in the Overberg area means that top athletes and those who simply love sport now have a wonderful facility to call their own.

The Overberg’s most talented young athletes are one step closer to reaching the top after the upgraded Glaskasteel Sports Complex in Bredasdorp was officially re-opened recently, following a R700 000 refurbishment.

Glaskasteel will serve as the hub of the Overberg District Academy. The academy will provide medical, coaching and sports science support to 30 athletes from different sporting codes from the four different local municipalities in the Overberg District.Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs, Anroux Marais, Cape Agulhas Municipality Mayor Paul Swart and Overberg District Municipality Mayor Andries Franken officially opened the upgraded Glaskasteel Sports Complex.

Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), Chief Director of Sport, Dr Lyndon Bouah, said potential academy members would be referred via their respective sporting bodies.

“We work with the various federations, including netball, football, rugby and athletics. We facilitate scientific tests done by accredited service providers. They test, among other things, how far you run, your running speed, etc. After all of these scientific tests are done, we invite you to be part of the academy if you are good enough. As the athletes become better and stronger in their chosen code, they improve their chances of qualifying for the South African team.”

The upgrades at Glaskasteel included the installation of a projector and screen, a bathroom for differently-abled athletes and a gym. The walls of the facility were also strengthened and new floodlights worth R300 000 were installed on the rugby, soccer and cricket playing fields.

Glaskasteel is also the main sports facility used by the general public, meaning players who are part of affiliated sports teams and clubs will also benefit from the upgrades. The floodlights in particular have been a welcome addition because they allow teams to train safely after dark.

The Overberg District Academy is one of seven in the Western Cape.

“Sport is the only activity that really keeps our young people healthy and teaches them discipline and gives them a sense of belonging, said Anroux Marais, the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, at the opening