First-in-Africa Rhino-Turf takes Ashton Benoni to the next level

Learners from Ashton International College Benoni spell out the school’s name at the launch of the new Rhino-Turf multi-purpose facility at the school on May 4.

A field that was once described as a ‘dustbowl’ has been transformed into a monumentally magnificent multi-purpose sporting facility which should lead to a rise in the quality of talented young athletes coming out of Ashton International College Benoni.

The school held a grand opening for their newly constructed Rhino-Turf, the first of its kind in Africa, in front of parents, learners, staff, special guests and principals from neighbouring schools on May 4.

On the day, as a drone flew in the sky capturing memorable images from above, learners from the school’s junior college gathered on the turf and spelled out the name ‘Ashton’ while the senior college learners formed a frame around the name to mark a significant occasion for the 20-year-old school.

The turf will allow for football, cricket, field athletic events and softball to be played while a 120m track alongside it will allow for short distance athletics to take place.

Hockey has also been introduced to the school in an exciting move for the sport in the region.

Mark Brown, executive director of the school, said that the school is privileged to have the very first Rhino-Turf on the continent.

“Our dream will always be to come first, to win, but we must do that with love and respect.

“Sometimes we might come second or third.

“We will humbly, and with love, acknowledge those who beat us.

“We will respect and edify them and always do this with love.”

Andre Buys (owner of the Ashton International College brand and chairman of the board) and his wife Germare cut the red ribbon to launch the new Rhino-Turf.

Joe Erasmus, managing director of Ashton International College, who is well-respected in the Benoni school community and who has been pushing for something like this to happen in the Benoni area for many years, said:

“We are over the moon to officially open up our new Rhino-Turf.

“We are in awe of the facility.

“Through this, we are looking at our sport for the future with a view to becoming more competitive in sport on the East Rand among the other schools.”

Erasmus added that the turf is both Fifa and FIH accredited.

Asked what the field was like before the construction of the Rhino-Turf, he said: “One can compare it to an animal series on National Geographic where you see the migration of the wildebeest herds.

“You see thousands of wildebeest going across the plains and you just see that dustbowl – that was exactly what was happening on this particular field.

“Our sports were rain-dependent to a large extent.

“We didn’t have the facilities at that stage for irrigation so we decided to go one step up.”

 

Joe Erasmus, general manager of Ashton International College, has a kick-about on the new Rhino-Turf multi-purpose facility.

LISTEN to Joe Erasmus speaking to Caxton Radio Benoni:

 

Ashton learners Uwais Khan and Elijah Leysath (who has been selected for the u-13 Kaizer Chiefs Youth Squad) enjoy playing football on the new Rhino-Turf.

More images from the day:

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  AUTHOR
Logan Green

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