Sports complexes are a great way for fans to come together and enjoy their favorite sport. These complexes typically feature multiple sports fields and other entertainment venues. They are especially popular with the youth and families, as they provide a safe, fun environment to enjoy sports and other activities without the pressure of competition.

To meet the demands of modern sports fans, municipalities are increasingly looking to upgrade their existing sporting complexes. The goal is to create a first-class recreation and sporting facility that offers a wide range of features and amenities. The construction of a first-class community sports complex is a major undertaking that requires a great deal of planning and preparation.

Ditlou Consulting Engineers was appointed by the City of Polokwane as a Principal-Agent to lead a team of built environment professionals for the upgrade of the existing Mankweng Sporting Complex to a first-class sporting and recreational complex. The upgraded facility can be formally used by the Municipality to generate revenue. It can also be used by the Mankweng community and surrounding villages to host various schooling and sporting events.

Mankweng Sports Complex Site Plan

Part of the detailed scope for the complex included the rehabilitation of combination courts or combi courts, upgrading the soccer and softball pitches, and downgrading the athletics track to a grass turf. The facility is also intended to accommodate other events such as music concerts, community meetings, etc. The concept of combi courts has become increasingly popular in the last decade and is a modern innovation in sports complexes. These are the types of sports facilities that combine traditional outdoor sports and recreational activities in one area.  This makes it ideal for such complexes to cater to various sporting codes which are soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, an eight-lane running track, a long jump, and a combination of tennis and netball courts. They typically comprise a playing field and court, as well as other features such as seating areas, changing rooms, and a small cafe.

Like stadiums, these venues are designed to provide the ultimate experience for all attendees however, combi courts make it easier to host multiple sports in a single space, saving money, time, and effort. The town of Mankweng which is located approximately 20 km East of Polokwane along the R71 corridor in Ward 31 of the Polokwane Local Municipality, has no other stadiums nearby besides the stadium at the University of Limpopo which has been used for every sports activity at the University.

Creating a first-class sports complex takes a great deal of planning, design, and construction. The most important aspect is to create a safe and enjoyable environment for athletes and spectators alike. It also involves selecting the right location, ensuring that all the necessary amenities are available, and making sure that the complex is up to modern standards. The complex is situated in the right position since it is close to a hospital and a police station. Suppose one of the players gets injured during sports activities. In that case, they can readily admit him to the hospital, and if there will be some fights, then we will be able to get help from the police.”

The already existing complex had no permanent structures and thus in addition to the construction of multiple fields and arenas, infrastructures such as seating, restrooms, pavilion, roads, and stormwater systems were required. This provided an opportunity to save on resources and space by including a pavilion with a seated capacity of 1800 persons and raked seating along the boundary fence to accommodate 6000 persons. Additionally, it involves the installation of lighting, audio systems, and other amenities necessary for hosting big events. During events such as music concerts, the venue can accommodate up to 30,000 persons by using the sports grounds.

Visitors to a sports complex are sure to find something that interests them, whether they’re interested in a professional game or just looking for a fun place to spend the day. Proper construction of the complex is essential, as it must be able to withstand wear and tear over a long time. Combi courts are built with a sturdy, weather-resistant base that can endure the wear and tear of professional sports. They often feature multi-use court lines to allow for easy switching between games. Combination courts are thus becoming increasingly popular because they offer a variety of sports and activities with the same surface.

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