On Monday, 03 April 2017, 100 local children gathered excitedly to play on the newly built Sand Sports Court situated at the Sustainability Institute in Lynedoch.
“The sand court was built as part of a larger initiative in the Stellenbosch community to have a sand sports court available for use by ten identified small towns which serve as central community gathering points,” said Jose Cabral, Project Coordinator for the Stellenbosch Academy of Sports’ Sport and Recreation project and CSV Construction’s Community projects.
This is the fourth court built with the aim of bringing together children and the wider community not only within each small town, but also to encourage exchanges between the small towns as part of a community-building-through-sports initiative. Jose Cabral has been coaching sport programmes across the communities of Stellenbosch for many years, and identified an opportunity to connect communities through sport with the building of these sustainable sand courts. “The sand court is more affordable to build and has almost no running costs. Furthermore, it is extremely water wise and requires no irrigation, making it appropriate for water scarce areas,” said Cabral. Activities such as soccer, netball, rugby, volleyball, cricket, tennis, handball and many more can be played on the sand court.
To celebrate the opening of the sand sports field, representatives from funding partners Remgro and the Stellenbosch Academy of Sports (SAS) joined in the activities on the day. The sand court is about encouraging children to really play and collaborate on and off the court. Mariza Lubbe from Remgro said that they supported this project because they want to encourage children to keep fit, do sport together and have fun while doing it. “Sport teaches us all how to work together and be a team, which are important skills for children to learn from a young age. One day they will be leaders and followers, and through sport each child can discover their role in a team and what they can contribute.”
A special guest appearance was made by Springbok Juan de Jongh from the Western Province rugby team who shared a few inspirational words with the children: “I want to encourage each one of you to always protect your dreams. It takes a lot of hard work to achieve what you want, and you can achieve it if you just put your mind to it and work hard. But also remember to always have fun with what you do, and enjoy every moment!”
Sports are so important not only for the health and wellbeing of children, but also building positive self-esteem and confidence that comes with engaging in active and team sports. Sport develops the values of perseverance, commitment and team work, as well as the learning of life lessons both on and off the field. “We are proud of what has been achieved today with this new sand court, and we look forward to everyone enjoying it and bringing communities together from across Stellenbosch,” said Alex von Klopmann, CSV Construction Director, the company that built the sand court.
The sand court will mainly be used by the SPARK Lynedoch primary school. In addition, it will also be used by the Lynedoch Children’s House (onsite early learning centre), the Sustainability Institute youth programmes, the Lynedoch United Football Club (a local, community soccer team) and the wider Lynedoch valley community.
For more information or to come and view the sand court, please phone 021 881 3196 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.