A Northpine school has struck a deal with a developer to turn its sand dunes into sports fields.
Northpine Technical High School will essentially pay in sand for the fields that will allow it to finally offer a range of outdoor sports, seven years after the school was established.
A sod-turning ceremony at the school last week signalled the start of the project.
Work will be done in phases to avoid disruption and should be finished by the end of the year.
The developer, Rubicon, will work with Format Sports Turf, a company specialising in laying synthetic grass at sports facilities.
Speaking on behalf of the two firms, Sunel Roos said there was healthy soil beneath the sand dunes.
The sand removed from the dunes would be sold or used in other projects, she said.
“Northpine has never had a sports field and it will be amazing to keep an eye on how they will development in their sports. Also, if you have good sports grounds, it is good marketing for your school,” she said.
After the sand has been removed, the area will be laser levelled and then covered with both buffalo grass and artificial grass.
“The school will have two soccer fields, a cricket pitch, two rugby fields and a hockey field,” she said.
“It seems like a big development to tackle, but once the soil is removed, the rest will go very quickly.”
The winter weather was not expected to hold up work, she said.
Metro east education department district director Benjamin Schereka said the fields would help to keep the pupils off the streets and involved in sport.
“Socialising the kids around sport and making them proud sports people could benefit a school and the learning of a child. They become active which allows them to have a healthier body and mind,” he said.
Grade 11 pupil Joy-Lerato Xayiya said she enjoyed exercises classes at school but it was hard doing them in the confined spaced of the school hall.
“We cannot play with a ball or run around and then most of us end up sitting in groups and wasting the period,” she said.
Acting principal Andre Pretorious has been at Northpine for less than a month and said that in all his years of teaching he had always seen a sports field as a key part of any school, so it had been strange for him to find a school where that wasn’t the case.
“Although the learners focus on a technical and mechanical curriculum; this does not mean that they will not be good in sports. Some learners might be better at sports than academics for all we know,” he said.