New courts for field

The William Herbert Sports Grounds received a boost worth R247 000 as the City of Cape Town officially opened two new netball courts on Saturday 28 July.

The City resurfaced and painted the two courts, which were previously used as old tennis courts at the William Herbert Municipal Facilities Management Committee (MFMC) premises.

Mayco member (South), Eddie Andrews, says there was a need for additional netball courts at the facility to accommodate over 120 netball players ranging from u.13 to senior level from the surrounding areas.

Andrews says this is to encourage the youth to be active and participate in sport.

“We would like recreation to be a positive influence in their lives and to dissuade them from negative alternatives. Also, by improving the facilities, we hope to grow the sport in the area and welcome new players.

Maritha Williams, chairperson of the William Herbert MFMC, says the opening of new courts is a relief and a delight.

“This will enable the (netball) union to host more games and tournaments.”

She says the netball courts formed part of their repair and maintenance plan, which all MFMCs are expected to have and to hand over to the City of Cape Town.

“The union came to us three years ago, being the first union to be formalised in the south. It was quite a task for the executive to figure out how we were going to accommodate netball. We utilised a parking area as a netball court. We then as the executive added the courts to our repairs and maintenance schedule.

“I do believe that the advancement and the initiation of any kind of improvement of the code will be beneficial for the union, hoping that the union will increase the number of clubs belonging to them. This also would help generate income for outside clubs to come use our courts at a nominal fee.”

Williams explains that they now have four courts at the facility, with one being far away from the new courts. They also have a new toilet that would specifically be used by netball players and is at a convenient distance as compared to the two available toilets on the premises.

The facility currently raises its own funds for maintenance and wages and continues to look at ways of accumulating income.

Penny Roberts, chairperson of the William Herbert Netball Subdistrict, says they are happy about the new courts, hoping they will help grow the number of clubs affiliated with the union.

“We play league matches every Saturday and the conditions of the previous court were not very player friendly for us and we were using one court at the time. We would like to thank the MFMC for this, I know our numbers will grow because of these courts. Who knows, our future stars could come from here! We have produced Western Province players in the past.”

Roberts says the union has five netball clubs at the moment.

Faziel Smith, a senior player, has been playing netball for years and is excited about the new courts. Smith says in Ottery, sport is used as a tool to keep youth off streets as she says there is currently a high rise of crime and substance abuse.

“With these new courts we hope our youngsters will be more inspired and have something to look forward to. We are trying our utmost to keep them off the streets.”

Another senior player, Chandre Genever, adds they have already come up with a plan to use junior players to keep these courts well maintained.