Our Metro is South Africa’s sporting mecca, which has produced top sport stars in various sporting codes and has successfully hosted rugby, soccer and cricket world cup games at its world class stadiums. The city has upgraded the Mangaung Athletic Stadium which has an IAAF Class 1 Athletic Facility certificate, which makes it suitable to host international athletics competitions. The city also boasts the IAAF accredited scientific laboratory, the only one of its kind in SA, where tests on anabolic and other steroids are conducted and recently unveiled SASCOC sanctioned National Training Centre to be used by SA’s elite athletes to prepare for national and international competitions.
Sport has always been of paramount importance to the community of Mangaung. Our Metro has successfully hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the African Cup of Nations Soccer in 1996, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the 2009 Indian Premier League matches, as well as the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup™ and 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Our city has also hosted the best international teams that rugby and soccer can offer at the Free State Stadium. It was recently been given an impressive facelift (as part of the preparations for the FIFA Confederations and World Cup™), flush with an upgraded western stand (main pavilion) which increased the stadium capacity from 38 000 to 48 000 seats. The upgrade also included modern touches to the players’ changing rooms, hospitality, and media areas.Mangaung is always one of the first and most obvious choices for hosting major sporting events and conferences because the city is centrally situated and therefore very accessible. It also has the necessary infrastructure and facilities.
Most of the sport stadiums (rugby, cricket, athletics, tennis, and swimming) are relatively new, of international standard, and all situated within a radius of three kilometres. Netball, hockey, basketball, squash, and badminton facilities, as well as shooting ranges and gymnasiums are offered by schools, tertiary institutions, and private organisations, while several well-designed golf courses and bowling greens in the area cater for enthusiasts. An Olympic accredited scientific laboratory, the only of its kind in South Africa, exists inMangaungwhere tests on anabolic and other steroids are conducted.
Adjacent to Free State Stadium, there are two other sport facilities, namely a cricket stadium, Outsurance Oval, where international matches are played, and an athletics track. This track hosts major national and international events on an annual basis. The main municipal swimming complex houses a 50m professional standard swimming pool and a second pool with a 3m and 10m diving board. Both these pools can be heated in winter.
Other sport facilities in the Mangaung municipal area include the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium. This is the home of Bloemfontein Celtics, the local soccer team that was established in 1969 and achieved professional league status in 1993. Seisa Ramabodu was also an official training venue during the FIFA Confederations Cup. The Mangaung Indoor Sport Centre offers a variety of sport facilities. The city also boasts two 18-hole golf courses, and driving ranges (Bloemfontein Golf Course, Schoeman’s Park Golf Club), and sport stadiums in Thaba Nchu (Selosesha Stadium) and Botshabelo (Botshabelo stadium).