Residents of the Overstrand - and especially those of Ward 8 - will soon have access to a multi-purpose sport facility in Hawston.
The new facility will not only sport 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 surfaced with grass, as well as an indoor sport centre with club house and pavilion. To improve traffic flow, an access road from Church Street will be incorporated and the parking area will be upgraded. Spotlights had been 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 R55 million development master plan, comprising of three phases, is being rolled out. R14 million for phase 1 and 2 was funded through 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 done once funding has been obtained.
The construction of the netball/tennis courts has already started and they will be completed by the end of March 2020 as part of phase one.
On Monday, 2 March 2020, shovels hit the ground to kick start the implementation for 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 three.
At the sod turning ceremony proceedings started with a warm welcome by Deputy Mayor and Ward Councillor of Ward 8, Elnora Gillion. She paid tribute to Hawston’s sport 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 their memories of the great rugby days. The late Tim Figaji and the late Noël Dreyer, as well as John Abbai Figaji were honoured for their contribution on and off the rugby field.
They said it is wonderful that the younger generation will 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 the application of their skills and attributes.
Giving some background about the project, Dennis Hendriks, Overstrand’s Senior Manager of Engineering Services, emphasised the importance of this multi-purpose venue because it will be able to cater for various sporting events and tournaments in the whole Overberg District, including athletics.
He said that the existing Hawston sport grounds were and are being utilised by various sport 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 sport facility will address a number of issues including the creation of jobs during the 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 Sport Committee who all worked tirelessly on the project, and who will continue working hard to host sporting events. “Let us use sport as 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 pro-actively 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 cannot wait to see the final product of phase two later in the year when the changing rooms and athletic track are completed. She added that the Hawston Sports Facility is set to boost economic activity in the region.