African Sport Site Blog

 

 

 

Where They Play

Sports venues are as varied as the African landscape. South Africa is gearing up to host the World Cup Finals with the construction of the largest stadium on the continent, The FNB Stadium in Johannasburg, which will seat 94,000 fans, and in terms of architectural creativity may well be the best on the planet.

South Africa's World Cup Stadium

One hundred such stadiums could not come close to hosting all the footballers and spectators that gather on the hundreds of thousands of dirt pitches around the continent. One source, World Stadiums, lists 586 stadiums in Africa. Many of these stadiums have been constructed or funded by China. Their most recent contributions have included stadiums in Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.  Here is a site showing the all of the stadium sites for the World Cup in South Africa.

Makeshift pitches stacked out in open fields and empty ares between houses are where most of the football is played.


Kenyan and Ethiopian long distance runners have toed the starting line on the best indoor and outdoor athletic ovals in the world, yet virtually all of them spent their early years scampering around durt and grass tracks with mole holes and mounds. Some of the better ciruits look rather rudimentary compared to secondary school facilities in the USA and Europe. Yet they are the training grounds for the world's best, such as Kamariny Statium in Iten, Kenya.

For years one secondary school, St. Patricks High School for Boys, has produced some of the worlds best under the tutalage and fatherly care of Irishman, brother Colm O'Connell. With the success of the past couple of decades a few excellent athletic, particularly geared to long distance runners, have grown up in Kenya. World Record holder Lornah Kiplagat's High Altitude Training Camp in Iten and Kip Keino's High Performance Training Camp in Eldoret are to of the top training facilities among the 25 or so in Kenya, most of them located in the Rift Valley.

The continents boxers, like many in the world begin their careers on the streets and then to backyard training grounds such as Bukom Boxing Club in Ghana.

Then later, if they are fortunate they be noticed and to attach themselves to even the most basic gyms such as the Mike Boxing Club in Nigeria.

Competive swimming is not a major sport in most of Africa, yet there is the major exceptions of South Africa and Zimbabwe who have produced world record holders in individual swimming disciplines and relay teams. South Africa has constructed high quality training facilities like the High Performance Center in Pretoria.

Many African countries have a handful of aspiring competive cyclists, but they have not yet reached world standards with the exception of a select few from South Africa. With their prowess in long distance running their is every reason to believe that Africa will some day find itself more prominent on the world cycling stage. The current generation of African cyclists, such as Rwanda's first professional team, are training on some of the most rugged and challenging roads and paths in the world.

Rwandan Professional Cycling Team

African Tennis players have faired very well on the courts of the world. For the most part those who excell are members of the priveledge class thus having access to the tennis facilities. Some as posh as this one in Morroco.

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Others have come up through local and international, sports development programs such as this Sport for Life program in Freetown, Siera Leone.

AfricaSportSite.com will cover the sporting venue, great and small. If you want to see and understand where Africans play, you have come to the right site.