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Community sports ground revive

For now, the main focus will be on rugby, soccer, tennis, golf, netball, and frisbee.

Between the late seventies and early nineties, the land between the Parys Public Library and the Fire Brigade was a hive of activity over weekends. People sat in the shade of the beautiful oak trees, watching cricket or supporting the town’s rugby club as they competed against neighbouring towns. Long-time resident and keen sportsman Brian Mylod, along with a former mayor of Parys, Mr. Hennie Stander, recall these vibrant times fondly.

Both have cherished memories of netball and tennis practices and games played here, and the local Jukskei Club hosting championships for players from neighbouring towns. The local Pigeon Club members and frisbee players also utilised the facilities.

For many years, the various sports clubs raised money to contribute towards the upgrading and maintenance of the facilities, while the municipality funded the construction of the tennis court and was responsible for cutting the grass and keeping the site clean.

As the years passed, the sports ground was no longer maintained, causing sports clubs to move to other facilities. The area began to accumulate litter, and the facilities steadily deteriorated. However, a private initiative with support of the municipality has started to revive the sports ground to its original purpose.

The registered non-profit company, Elite Athletics Sports Academy, is the brainchild of Sabatha Segoba, Tumelo Nhlapo, Zolile Motha, and Tean Els. The academy aims to develop sports talent and introduce different sports disciplines in all communities.

For now, the main focus will be on rugby, soccer, tennis, golf, netball, and frisbee.

Coaching, clinics, and workshops will be offered with a monthly fee for participants to help maintain the sports ground and pay coaches. Matches in the various sports disciplines will also be played here. For golf, the Academy plans to partner with existing clubs.

Residents may have noticed that the site was cleaned over the past two weeks, and significant work has been done to repair existing facilities for the first Soccer Clinic, taking place from 17-21 June for players aged 7 to 18 years. Soccer and rugby training will start on 1 July.

Photo credit: PJ Funky Photography.

On Friday afternoon, about fifty young players were introduced to soccer. It was a pleasant sight, seeing the children enjoying themselves as they learned the rules of the game.

The goal is not only to create opportunities for developing sport in all communities but also to educate younger children, fostering an understanding and love for different sport disciplines, says the team of directors.

Future plans include fencing the sports ground and building bathrooms and office space for the Academy.
This will add value to the property in the area by creating a neat and properly maintained site, the directors stated.

They also assured residents that existing trees on the sports ground will not be removed and requested that residents refrain from littering or dumping garbage on the site. Interested sponsors for the project are welcome to phone 083 973 4895.

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