Legacy scores highly

Sport Business News

Major events have been key to improving South Africa's image internationally and have brought major economic benefits through tourism.

Major events have helped in the development of particular sports domestically by bringing the best in the world to South Africa, so providing a more level playing field, giving South Africans the opportunity to witness major sporting events, and saving costs on overseas travel. Cricket World Cup 2003The 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup was the eighth edition of the tournament and was played in South Africa from 9 February to 24 March that year, marking the first time that the Cricket World Cup was held in Africa. The tournament featured 14 teams and 54 matches, the most in the tournament history up to that time. The 'Eersterust' project was part of the Legacy Project of the United Cricket Board and the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. The aim of the R25m initiative was to leave a legacy that would serve as a reminder of the 2003 World Cup and the benefits of hosting such a prestigious competition. Half of the funding (R12. 5m) was provided by government and the National Lottery with the other half coming from sponsors. The project aimed to build grassed cricket ovals in disadvantaged communities around the country making the sport more accessible to South African people and providing opportunities for unearthing the wealth of latent talent. The 2003 Cricket World Cup contributed significantly to sport development in the Western Cape. A R4. 5m legacy programme was undertaken in areas such as Khayelitsha, Hanover Park, Athlone and Heathfield. The programme also extended to the Boland (Daljosafat, Berg River, Wellington, New Orleans (Paarl) where new turf wickets were constructed in formerly disadvantaged areas. Building on the partnerships of the tournament, this project was a partnership between the national department of trade and industry, Sport and Recreation South Africa and the private sector. Another real benefit came from the skills gained by the 350 volunteers trained for the Cricket World Cup by the Western Cape department of cultural affairs, sport and recreation. They acquired skills in handling of VIPs and protocol, media and public relations, and in security logistics. Some of these volunteers have since been used again at the Two Oceans Marathon, and their names submitted to the South African Sports Commission database for assistance at future events. The 2003 Cricket World Cup brought extraordinary spin–off benefits for the Western Cape and South Africa. In February 2003 alone, 19, 000 more overseas tourists visited South Africa than in the same month in the previous year (an increase of 11. 8%). A significant number these additional visitors came from cricketing nations such as the UK (8, 000, 17% increase), India (4, 200, 195% increase) and Australia (1, 000, 21% increase). With between 60% and 70% of these tourists visiting the Western Cape, the province's hospitality industry and overall economy was given an enormous boost. The most important spin–off of the Cricket World Cup, however, was not an immediate one. Nor is it one that can be easily measured in figures or money. Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa were presented to the world when they played host to the opening spectacular at Newlands on 8 February 2003. This show was watched by about 1. 4bn people worldwide. Through the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the Western Cape and South Africa felt that it showed South Africa is able and willing to host more international world–class events. The successful event helped secure the 2010 FIFA World Cup for South Africa, and was part of the country's overall strategy to reposition South Africa in the international community.

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