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The German International School Cape Town celebrates its new stateof- the-art spo rts hall

| January 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

BY SANDRA FARRENKOTHEN

Among the guests at the official inauguration ceremony on 23 August
2019 were representatives of the German Parliament and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Dagmar Freitag, ulla Schmidt and Andreas Görgen; the
German Consul General, Matthias Hansen; and the Minister of Education of
the Western Cape, Debbie Schäfer.

After 25 months of planning and building, the German International School Cape Town (DSK) is thrilled to finally make use of its new sports hall – one of the most modern and well-equipped sports halls in the Western Cape, if not countrywide. There was lots of anticipation in the build-up to the opening when – finally – many learners, teachers and parents got to see the new facility for the first time. Principal Alexander P. Kirmse exclaimed: ‘We are all very excited and I would like to thank both our parents and the German government for their substantial contribution. With this new
hall, sports at the DSK will attain a higher standard!’

Due to the constantly growing number of learners, indoor gym space became scarce at the DSK, especially in the winter months. With this recent addition, the school can now live up to its vision of offering learners a holistic education of the highest standard – with sports playing an important role. School board chairperson, Mirabel Bausinger, stated in her speech, ‘The DSK will now be able to offer a much greater platform for its learners to engage in sports, to teach and instil life skills such as fairness,
respect, perseverance, equality and teambuilding.’

Assistance from the German government

Without the substantial funding of the German government, the building of the hall would not have been possible. ‘An investment of this size is a visible sign of Germany’s confidence in the DSK’s ambition and professionalism,’ said German Consul General, Matthias Hansen.

Not only does the German government provide personneland financial support to all its 140 German schools abroad, but it has also given bursaries to more than 2 500 South African learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds at the three International German Schools in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg over the past 30 years. In addition, ‘on average,
about 30 English-speaking children join the DSK in Grade 5each year, enriching the multinational and multicultural character of our school,’ stated Kirmse.

Important features

Designed by mlh Architects and built by Lovemore & Co, the hall is comparable with top South African and German standards, with many features being unique to South Africa. These include:

• a gallery, offering space for more than 150 spectators overlooking a 23 x 44m court with a clear height of nine metres

• two automated curtain walls that descend from the roof to the floor and divide the main court into three sections, allowing three classes to have a sports lesson at the same time

• acoustic panels, ensuring that the noise levels meet DIN1 requirements for acoustics in school sports halls

• three basketball, three volleyball and six badminton practice courts (the main centre court offers a handball, basketball, tennis and volleyball court of international size)


• two wall-mounted LED screens, which are supported by a fixed sound system to be used as scoreboards or for digital supported learning


• a wheelchair-friendly centre that offers toilet and shower facilities on the ground level, and four changing rooms built on two separate floors


• a catering area with a serving kitchen on gallery level and
overlooking the court.


These features will all come in handy for many future
tournaments, which will include the participation of schools and
teams across the Western Cape and beyond.

A space for mutual encounters

Bausinger envisioned: ‘I hope the hall will become a place of many sporting memories for our DSK community, but also for us the location of many mutual encounters, and a place to share a passion for sports with our wider South African community.’ At the formal opening of the new facility, former DSK learner Sivuyile Genu led the festive opening programme, which
consisted of a colourful Grade 4 welcome performance, a Grade 12 dance, a musical performance by the Grade 5s and 6s, a pyramid show from the whole Grade 10 group, a short first team basketball match against invited DSK alumni, video screenings, official speeches and the handover of the key.

Reference:

1. See: https://www.din.de/en/getting-involved/standards-committees/nals

Category: Summer 2019

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