THE BLOG

Fun Facts and Features from the World of Sport

Get to the Cape

• Posted in Cricket / Hockey / Misc. / Rugby Union / South Africa • By JosephBaker

There are not many cities that are truly world-famous; even fewer that are privileged enough to be ranked amongst the world's finest for sport. Cape Town, one of Sport Lived’s destinations for its cricket, rugby and hockey gap year coaching and academy programmes, just happens to be both.

Sporting history looks down proudly upon South Africa's provincial capital like the city’s magnificent Table Mountain, while many a world-class sportsman and woman have honed and shown off their immense talents in one of the most beautiful and iconic places on the globe. Dotted amongst this history and talent are the glorious stadia that play host to many a sporting event, domestic and international. The passion for sport in Cape Town runs deep. Through a gap year with Sport Lived you could experience it all to the full.

Whether it is to coach or have the ultimate sporting experience through an Academy, you will feel yourself engulfed and galvanised by Cape Town’s sporting past during your six week programme there. The city was one of the crown jewels of the 2010 Football World Cup, hosting eight games in a tournament that proved that Africa was capable of hosing a world-class sporting event. One of South Africa’s largest and most celebrated locations, the city hosted many matches during the inaugural 2007 Twenty20 Cricket World Cup and the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the latter won by one of the great Australian teams. It also played an important part in perhaps one of the most symbolic and celebrated tournaments that has ever occurred – the Nelson Mandela inspired 1995 Rugby World Cup.

The aforementioned stadia that stand proudly in the city and pull in fans in their droves are amongst the most iconic in the world. The magnificent Cape Town Stadium that rests next to the Atlantic Ocean seafront has a capacity of 55,000, whilst the 51,900 seater Newlands Stadium is the oldest rugby ground in South Africa and the second-oldest in the world. The Newlands Cricket Ground however tops the lot. With Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak set just behind, it is regarded as one of the most stunning sports venues in existence. Remarkably the first Test match was played there in 1889. The city is regularly the chosen venue for international football, cricket and rugby international contests. Domestically, the popular Ajax Cape Town football team, the Cape Cobra cricket side and of course the fantastic Western Stormers rugby team, who finished 3rd in the latest Super 15 season, are based there.

If you require any further inspiration to get yourself on the plane to play or coach the sport you adore in Cape Town, just consider some of the sportsmen and women, past and present, who first discovered and then developed their abilities in this breathtaking city at the very tip of Africa. Two of the finest players ever to take the field for the national cricket side, Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs, were both raised there, from the Pinelands and Green Point areas respectively. Gibbs is South Africa’s 6th highest run-scorer in Tests and 2nd in ODI’s behind Kallis, the latter being regarded as one of the greatest ever all-rounders – he took over 250 wickets for his country and is the only cricketer to have scored more than 13,000 runs. Other iconic names include the man with over 50 caps for the Springboks Morne Steyn and the inspirational Gold Medal winning Paralympic swimmer Natalie du Toit, who became only the third amputee ever to qualify for the Olympics.

One of the reasons for Sport Lived offering these once in a lifetime opportunities in Cape Town is the superb domestic sporting scene and facilities for rugby, cricket and hockey. For example, by doing one of our Cricket Academy programmes you will again access to two cricket ovals, an indoor cricket centre with bowling machines, fitness centre and 12 nets. Our South African coaching programmes will enable you to undertake a professional coaching development course and attend 16 hours of seminars and practical sessions on top of all the coaching you will get to do with the many schools enthralled by the country’s most popular sports and the various clubs that thrive within the city.

Top-draw facilities, famous stadiums, a contagious zealousness for sport and a rich and enviable sporting history make Cape Town one of the best places for young, aspiring sportsmen and women to experience as part of a sports gap year. If you’re thinking of coaching or want to work intensively on your game in a new and wonderful environment, there is really only one answer – get yourself to the Cape.

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