First intake of athletes at Eden Sport Academy in Oudtshoorn
It was a memorable day as the Eden Sport Academy opened its office at the De Jager Sport Complex in Oudtshoorn on 25 January 2014. It also admitted its first intake of athletes, marking the first such intake into the District Academy System in the Western Cape.
The academy is a partnership between the Oudtshoorn Municipality and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), and it gives substance to the vision contained in the National Sport and Recreation Plan. DCAS Chief Director for Sport and Recreation, Adv. Lyndon Bouah noted how the district academy system effectively brings together the efforts of local, provincial and national government. After a visit to the Eden District last year, Mr Mark Wiley, Chairperson of the Standing Committee responsible for sport in the Provincial Parliament, commended the South Western District (SWD) region for its hard work. “I know it is early days, but I have been impressed,” he said.
The first phase of the District Academy System provides for eight sport codes: athletics, aquatics, baseball, table tennis, boxing, cycling, netball and football. After the Eden Sport Academy completed a mass mobilisation project, sport federations nominated athletes for consideration. Assisted by qualified biokineticists, a total of 94 athletes were tested and 41 were selected for admission into the Eden Sport Academy.
Table tennis player Jenilee Maarman said she was very excited to have been chosen and proud to be part of this historic moment. “The academy is a good way to develop players further and build the community,” she said. The Eden Sport Academy can indeed pride itself in being a cornerstone of the Western Cape District Academy System.