“NELSON Mandela Bay’s reputation as a sporting city and the water sport capital of Africa is being strengthened today”: these sentiments were uttered during the national Life-saving Championship launched at Life Saving Club in King’s Beach yesterday. Among the guest speakers at the launch were Nelson Mandela Bay’s Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani, Sport Recreation, Arts and Culture representative, Cllr Simphiwo Plaatjies, Convenor of SA Lifesaving in NMB, Craig Van Rooyen, and General Tyres Managing Director Shaun Uys.
For the second successive year, Nelson Mandela Bay is hosting the General Tyres South African Lifesaving National Championship.
Addressing the stakeholders present, Cllr Bobani described the Lifesaving Championships as of great significance to a seaside city like Nelson Mandela Bay, also because it seeks to inspire young ones to learn more about sport. “Swimming is not only a sport; it is also a life skill that one can use to save lives. On behalf of the city I would like to thank the organisers for their confidence in us as hosting city.
“We have done it before: this year we promise to make it bigger and better. We are also excited about the many spin-offs of these championships for the city’s economy. We are currently under pressure to create more economic streams, of which sport tourism is one. I can confidently say that we have made our mark and can grow from here together”, Executive Mayor Bobani said.
In 2018, 1669 competitors from 41 national clubs competed in 528 events over an eight-day period, giving a welcome boost to the local hospitality industry, with some of the out-of-town competitors also bringing their families and friends. This year’s event will take place from 24 March to 30 March 2019, with close to 2000 lifesavers taking to surf and pool to determine the best individuals and club in South Africa. The event will be held at the Blue Flagged King’s Beach and at the Newton Park Swimming Pool.
Cllr Plaatjies vowed that the safety of the participants, supporters and fans would be prioritised. He praised the NMBM’s Beaches and Resorts Section for the excellent work done for the previous national Lifesaving Championship in the Bay, with the able support and assistance of the SAPS and Metro Police. He was seconded by the General Tyres Managing Director, Shaun Uys, who also praised the heart-warming commitment shown by the roleplayers and stakeholders at the previous event.
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