Overberg District Academy opens at refurbished Glaskasteel Sports Complex
The Overberg’s most talented young athletes are one step closer to reaching the top after the upgraded Glaskasteel Sports Complex in Bredasdorp was officially reopened on Monday following a R700 000 refurbishment.
Glaskasteel will serve as the hub of the Overberg District Academy. The Academy will provide medical, coaching and sports science support to 30 athletes from different sporting codes from the four different local municipalities in the Overberg District.
Dr Lyndon Bouah, Chief Director of Sport at the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), said potential Academy members would be referred via their respective sporting bodies.
“We work with the various federations, including netball, football, rugby and athletics. We facilitate scientific tests done by accredited service providers. They test, among other things, how far you run, your running speed, etc. After all of these scientific tests are done, we invite you to be part of the academy if you are good enough. As the athletes become better and stronger in their chosen code, they improve their chances of qualifying for the South African team.”
The upgrades at Glaskasteel included the installation of a projector and screen, a bathroom for differently-abled athletes and a gym. The walls of the facility were also strengthened and new floodlights worth R300 000 were installed on the rugby, soccer and cricket playing fields.
Glaskasteel is also the main sports facility used by the general public, meaning players who are part of affiliated sports teams and clubs will also benefit from the upgrades. The floodlights in particular have been a welcome addition because they allow teams to train safely after dark.
“Ultimately, the dream for us is to be able to say that an athlete running at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has come from the academy in Overberg and he or she was recognised and went into the Olympic Academy, because you also have the Olympic academies run by SASCOC. We support the district academies, because if you don't support their athletes they wouldn't be able to prosper and make progress,” Dr Bouah added.
The Overberg District Academy is one of seven in the Western Cape. The West Coast District Academy is located in Saldanha, the Cape Winelands Academy is based in Paarl and the Eden District Academy is located in George. The Central Karoo Academy can be found in Beaufort West, while both the Cape Metropolitan Academy and the Western Cape Sports Academy are in Cape Town.
Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, was at Monday’s launch in Bredasdorp and thanked the various sporting bodies in attendance for their efforts.
“Thank you for keeping our young people away from drugs, crime and gang violence. Sport is the only activity that really keeps our young people healthy and teaches them discipline and gives them a sense of belonging. As Madiba said, sport shapes all of us, it unites us and it speaks to us in a way that no other activity can,” Minister Marais said.