Sporting facilities in Austerville and Merebank are set for a much-needed spruce, courtesy of the joint efforts of Engen, representatives of the local South Durban community and the eThekwini Parks and Recreation Department.
Welcomed by South Durban residents, the upgrades are already underway at Badulla Ground and Wentworth Sports Ground in Ogle Road and are set for completion by the end of October
In attendance at the official launch were members of the Engen Community Joint Committee.
Prominent local sports coach, Lewis Donnelly praised Engen for playing a part in reviving sports culture and giving talented sportspeople a stage to relax and shine.
“Empowering the youth by getting them engaged in sports and other healthy outdoor activities will help them find meaning and refrain from anti-social activities,” said Donnelly, who is popularly known as ‘Mr Coach’ in South Durban.
The upgrades at Budulla Ground will include new goal posts, painting, grass cutting and piping for seating across the field.
The basketball court on Ogle Road will also receive some much-needed love with new nets, piping for seating and repainted floor markings, while the adjacent soccer grounds will enjoy a new coat of paint, new goal posts and nets, and upgrades to the men’s and ladies change rooms.
Deputy Chairman of the Wentworth Sports Confederation, Neil Axford extended “thanks to Engen for the sponsorship” and said it brought to mind the words of former President Nelson Mandela – “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.”
Engen is also donating two grass cutting machines as well as 50 new soccer balls and soccer kits.
“September, being spring, was an opportune time to focus on upgrading and resurfacing the sports facilities for the benefit of the local community,” commented Khalid Latiff, Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications.
“It is Engen’s firm hope that this initiative, closely co-created together with with the Engen Community Joint Committee and eThekwini Parks Department will enhance the lives of South Durban residents.”
eThekwini Parks and Recreation’s, Sphelele Ndovela thanked Engen and the community for their collaborative efforts with his department.
Added Ndovela: “If the community and corporates work together with us, as you guys did, we can do better and we can achieve a lot. May God keep on blessing and give you more strength to do good all the time.”
Engen actively champions nine of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 3, which aims to promote Good Health and Well-Being.
“Part of our commitment to SDG 3 translates into community-based support to help reduce vulnerabilities associated with ill health, whilst promoting social inclusion and the equalization of opportunities,” added Latiff.
“As a caring company with ‘heart’ that aims to enrich lives for a sustainable future, this aligns with our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which endeavour to ensure a better and more sustainable future for all.”