The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday delivered on its promise to develop and upgrade the Walmer Sports Precinct when Executive Mayor, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga officially opened the much anticipated facility.
The facility boasts a new hall, ablution facilities, change rooms and improved pitch.
Speaking at the official opening, Mayor Bhanga said the future was looking bright for the City’s budding sports stars who would utilise the facility as massive plans were well underway to build a netball court and a swimming pool at the same precinct.
The construction of the new hall, ablution facilities and change rooms valued at R13 million started earlier this year and will give support to the already completed two football and rugby fields in an effort to develop Nelson Mandela Bay’s sports stars from the schools and sports clubs.
“We are ecstatic to be here today to officially launch this facility as this is in line with our vision of taking our children away from drugs and shebeens and into sports. The precinct itself is a multi-year project which started with the Multi-Purpose Centre with an outdoor gym that is being used by the community currently. Phase two was the construction of sports fields which were also fenced and remain in a great condition thanks to the community of Walmer.
“And today we are opening phase three and it is indeed a great moment for us and promising a bright future for the children of this community and the NMB community at large. There are four change rooms, two for rugby and two for soccer clubs. We have two changerooms for match officials, a meeting hall, an office space and the facility also caters for people living with disabilities with ablutions and ramps. There are also toilets for the public so it is an all round good facility which caters for everyone,” Mayor Bhanga said.
He added that residents would be happy to see their inputs from the Integrated Development Plan being implemented and called on residents to continue to protect the precinct.
During the event, Mayor Bhanga also handed over sporting equipment to the soccer and rugby clubs.
Resident, Solly Booi from the Walmer Football Association said: “We are very happy to be a part of this launch today. It has been a long time coming but we are happy that we are finally here. This facility will go a long way in assisting the Walmer community to develop our children. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to develop the youth and we think sport is one of the channels. We can use sport to unite people and we want everyone to leave this event today with that in mind that working together we can do so much.”
NMBM Sports, Recreation Arts and Culture Executive Director, Noxolo Nqwazi said phase four of the precinct was under planning.
“We will install cricket nets that will be within the enclosed facility, we are planning the construction of a swimming pool after the Ironman donated R500 000 for this community to have swimming so that they can participate in Ironman. That swimming pool will be inside this facility as well, floodlights will be up, netball courts as well as a borehole as we are currently faced with a drought and can not afford to use tap water to run these facilities,” she said, adding that in an effort to secure the facility, tight security measures including the installation of CCTV cameras would be in place.