The Green Point Athletics Stadium could soon be called the Wayde van Niekerk Stadium if Premier Helen Zille gets her way.
Yesterday Zille announced that she has written to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille formally suggesting the name change.
Zille’s spokesman Michael Mpofu says although the Premier is an avid cyclist, Wayde’s achievements on the track inspired her.
“She also wants this to inspire other laaities out there. If they work hard and are determined they can reach the highest levels,” says Michael.
The Kraaaifontein boytjie sprinted into the record books at the Rio Olympics when he won gold in a new world record time in the men’s 400m finals in a time of 43.03 seconds.
In a statement Zille says: “These are extraordinary feats, especially for a 24-year-old university student. I believe it would be appropriate to honour Mr van Niekerk, by renaming the current Green Point Athletics Stadium, after him. He has not only done the country proud, but his home City and Province.”
No one is prouder than Wayde’s dad, Wayne van Niekerk.
He tells the Daily Voice: “WOW! I am speechless. This makes me a very proud father.”
“It will make the entire family very proud if it does happen. After all that he has done, it’s something that he truly deserves.”
Wayde was in Cape Town yesterday when the news broke and he tweeted: “Hands down… as I’m about to leave on to the next stop. Never felt so much love anywhere in the world. Cape Town.”
Spokesperson for De Lille, Pierrinne Leukes says they have received the re-naming request.
“Now we will follow due process which includes a submission of the proposal to the Naming Committee. Once they have met they will conduct an extensive public participation comment period of a month, after which they make a recommendation to the Mayor,” she explains.
After that the name change has to be approved by the City council.
The overall process from start to finish can take at least three months.