A multi-purpose sports facility has officially been handed over to the community of Beaufort West in the Central Karoo. This comes four years after the local Under-15 netball and rugby teams won the facility when they played at the 2017 Rural Sport Development National Championships in Polokwane.

Rather late than never. The state-of-the-art, multi-million rand sports facility can accommodate five different codes; netball, basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer.

Beaufort West is rife with unemployment and crime and it is hoped the facility will motivate the youth to get off the streets and develop their sports skills. It was officially handed over by the Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nocawe Mafu.

“South African communities right now are besieged by drugs, high unemployment of young people.  We want them to look at this sports facility, it can lift up their spirits. Those who want to be better sportsmen in the future, they must use it. We also hope it will take them out of the streets to be able to play sports, rather than indulge in drugs,” says Mafu.

The Secretary of the Central Karoo District Sports Council, Vergil Groepe, says they will administrate the facility, while the local rugby club, together with the municipality, will maintain it.

“Our children, even our senior players will welcome it will all their hearts.  They never saw such things in their life. This will definitely benefit our youngsters, our senior players.  If we look at codes like volleyball, basketball, that they’ll be able to play here, that will develop.”

Siphamandla Piti was captain of the winning Under-15 rugby team at the 2017 Rural Sport Development Championships. He says it has been a long wait, but he is excited to start developing his basketball skills.

“We’re going to benefit a lot from it because it is something that we wanted as a community to be here.  None of our children are going to be on the streets, doing drugs, they’re going to be able to do something with their lives after school.  So it’s something that is good for our community.”

This facility comes just in time for the local netball players to prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup being held in Cape Town.