POLOKWANE – Many people follow sport almost religiously and a lot of money is invested in the development and promotion of sport stars.
Across the world high performance centres are opened to help these stars reach their full potential. A high performance centre recently opened its doors at The Ranch Resort.
Paul Shearer, General Manager of The Ranch Resort, said they decided to open the centre due to the growing demand for sports facilities across South Africa.
“In our region, we identified the opportunity following the country’s hosting of the global football franchise, the Fifa World Cup in 2010. Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Sports Complex, which is not far from our location, was taken over by the local municipality after the World Cup and, being a world-class stadium suitable for hosting major sporting events, the stadium holds its own against many of the best stadiums in South Africa. Since then, many Premier Soccer League (PSL) games have been held in Polokwane season after season,” he said.
Visiting soccer teams need quality accommodation, which the hotel has been able to provide. With the use of the stadium for many PSL games, teams such as Mamelodi Sundowns, Toyota Cheetahs, DHL Stormers, Golden Lions, Supersports United, Kaizer Chiefs, Polokwane City, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Orlando Pirates, Bafana Bafana and the Senegal national team have been guests at the hotel.
With the realisation that the local area did not have suitable training facilities available for professional sports teams, The Ranch Resort began to invest in building the world-class training facilities needed.
With large grounds available on the hotel property, the business was essentially making the best use of the outdoor space. Some of these teams now use the hotel’s facilities for their training camps when preparing for new sporting seasons.
The initial work done involved the development of multiple sports facilities, including a 104 m long x 54 m wide sports field with a state-of-the-art training facility available for pre- and post-match training sessions; 20 two-bedroom self catering chalets (totalling 40 bedrooms); a clubhouse; and a 12-hole par 3 golf course and academy.
Having tested the waters and finding there was significant demand for such resources, the hotel added a second sports field, 110 m long x 75 m wide when marked, in 2013.
Late last year saw the addition of a new high performance centre designed and developed in conjunction with the world’s leader in gym equipment, Technogym.
“We are very proud of the latest facility as this high performance centre is a first of its kind in South Africa,” Shearer added.
The exceptional sporting facilities the hotel now boasts have created a turnkey destination training facility which allows teams to stay, play and train in world class facilities in a truly unique African setting.
“Our sports guests benefit from the safe and secure location, away from the distractions of town; upmarket accommodation; excellent food; and a training facility available for pre- and post-match training sessions.”
Located three hours by road from Johannesburg, and with direct access from the N1 highway, the hotel is very accessible.
In addition, guests have a short drive from the Polokwane Gateway International Airport if arriving by air and it’s just a 20 minute drive from the hotel to the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex.
With a history of over 55 years as an accommodation facility offering top-notch accommodation, conferencing, banqueting, leisure and bush getaways, The Ranch Resort has embarked on an entirely new offering and it’s breaking the ground for what hotels can offer the travel market.