Major facelift for UWC sport stadium
Work began in February on a R53-million upgrade to the UWC stadium, which is being converted into a state-of-the-art Sports Centre, with world-class facilities including a health and fitness centre, multi-purpose sports hall, new changing rooms, medical room, restaurant, offices, special events venues and parking.
The project began more than five years ago, according to Ilhaam Groenewald, head of UWC Sport Administration, and is aligned to the University’s Institutional Operating Plan’s strategic goals of holistic student development, the generation of third-stream income, raising the University’s profile and developing campus surroundings.
“This is further supported with the development of a master plan that includes sport facilities maintenance, the upgrading of existing facilities and the addition of new facilities,” Groenewald explains.
The Sports Centre will advance the management and coordination of sport activities, as well as:
· the services provided to more than 20 sport codes, including five priority sport codes (namely athletics, cricket, football, rugby and swimming), with a focus on making these clubs competitive at university, national and international levels;
· strategic partnerships with sport federations, government, community and corporate entities, with respect to the hosting of events and functions that profile the university as a positive contributor to both academic and sport performance; and,
· sports development, because sport is part of the general education of students and enables them to engage productively with the wider community.
Groenewald adds that UWC has been particularly successful in drawing athletes and coaches from historically marginalised communities. “A key objective in this approach is for the University to partner with aspiring athletes to instil in them the confidence to attain the highest levels of achievement,” she says.
“Similarly, being able to be associated with an institution of great stature has significant impact on the development of young people from outside the University who participate in partnership and outreach programmes based at UWC.”
Noero Architects provided designs that retained the essential ideas of the original designs. The project was recognised for its excellence in architectural design in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of the Journal of the South African Institute of Architects.
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