Complex will also serve community, business
Hundreds of guests celebrated the launch of a multimillion-rand sports and community centre at a black tie event held at the new complex in Fairview, Port Elizabeth, on Saturday night.
The Fairview Multi Sports Complex in Willow Road, which expects to attract top national sports and other events to the Bay, forms part of a Port Elizabeth Land Restitution and Housing Association (Pelrha) initiative.
Part of Pelrha’s mandate is to help establish a good quality neighbourhood with facilities for families returning to the Fairview area.
The association recently completed construction of the R36-million centre and spent a further R8-million on fencing and grassing the complex.
Pelrha spokesman Clive Felix said they had used the money from the sale of a strip of land, which had formed part of their restitution claim to the government.
Felix, who revealed that Pelrha had secured R42-million from its restitution claim, said this money had not been used to fund the new centre, but that the board had opted to finance it from the sale of the strip of land.
“We created a bursary scheme for children in the northern areas and the townships because that is where a lot of the claimants came from,” he said.
“The idea is that the centre will be financially self-sustaining. “We would like it to be affordable to amateur sportsmen and women.”
The design of the complex was developed after the organisation studied a number of similar projects around the world.
The facility, which is located near the William Moffett Expressway, includes both indoor and outdoor sporting and recreational facilities, and can cater for both community functions and business-related services.
“We have an open mind about the centre and are looking at attracting national sporting events, which will be positive for the economy of the Bay, ” Felix said.
“We also have indoor soccer for the blind and are planning to construct tennis courts in the future. “At the moment our indoor facilities cater for hockey, volleyball, basketball and table tennis.”
“We have outdoor playing fields for soccer, cricket, rugby and baseball. “We have office space and conference facilities that will enable us to host corporate and social functions,” he said.
Guest speaker at the launch, former South African netball captain, Zanele Mdodana, said the centre was a prayer answered for many sports people.
“I pray that dynamic, purposedriven women will become members of the board of trustees,” she said.
“Sport has the power to change the world, unite people and speak to the youth in the language they understand.”
“This is a world-class facility for our community and we need to preserve, value and protect it.”