SPORT is one of the activities which brings about social cohesion and helps young people to accumulate skills. Consequently, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality in partnership with SA Hockey have today officially opened Gelvandale Astro Turf for hockey. The sporting field will benefit about 38 schools in and around the metro.
Councillor Sandra Fillis, a member of the portfolio committee for Sports Recreation, Arts and Culture in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, said the sporting ground will eradicate crime and gangsterism in the Nothern Areas. “This is the way to keep children out of the street. A child in sports is a child out of court. This facility will encourage other young stars to take part in sports. “If we have more facilities like this we can empower more children”, Cllr Fillis concluded.
SA Hockey President, Mr Deon Morgan believes that the sport field will be used as a platform to embrace the quota system in sport and also open opportunities for pupils to be able to compete on a national level. “The impact is more for the kids to take value from the facility because here they can learn life skills and skills to be teachable, knowing when they can rely on their own abilities and what role the play in their team dynamic.
“The skills can also take outside of sport into their lifestyles, workplace or family so that they can participate into the nation building. This facility gives the opportunity to educate our kids, to educate themselves and to be better citizens within the community in the future”, Mr Morgan said.
R6 million was used to hire people, rebuild the field and also buy necessary equipment. 14 schools have been given equipment of the old turf to install into their schools and maintain their playing fields standard.
Meanwhile educators expressed their gratitude saying that they are pleased to have this facility, especially from the northern areas, as this is part of the early childhood development. “The children are doing lots of skill development trainings and the exercises which take place here will improve their reading, concentration and social skills”, Clarissa Abrahams, Senior Education Specialist in Nelson Mandela Metro said.