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Mayor’s Newsletter for George Herald of 6 July 2023

This newsletter is being written shortly before the U18 Rugby Craven Week programme begins in George. As host school for this prestigious sporting event, Outeniqua High School has no doubt spent months planning for this occasion.

The rains earlier in June resulted in the School’s fields becoming waterlogged. A decision was made to switch the matches to Outeniqua Park where there has been feverish activity over the past week or two to prepare for an event involving 16 provincial teams playing 24 matches. We are pleased with the energy and efforts of the work teams from George Municipality who have put in many hours to quickly prepare the facility to receive our visitors over the week.  It is an honour for George to be able to present itself to all the supporters accompanying the team along with the media and television crew.

As with all major sports, the young players attending a tournament on the national stage have opportunities to display their talents and abilities to selectors and scouts. Sterling performances could result in scholarships and contracts to further their sporting careers.

George is extremely proud in observing how various sporting codes and the supportive tourism stakeholders have stepped up to present sporting events of a very high standard. Progressively we are achieving our objective to add events throughout the year to attract tourists from across the country. This helps us build viability, sustainability and employment within the tourism sector.

At George Municipality we are constantly working to create an enabling environment for ease of doing business e.g. through the improvement in turnaround times for approving project and development proposals. These ambitions can best be fostered through ongoing collaborative efforts. It is encouraging to experience how individuals and companies approach us with novel ideas for projects whereby value can be added to the George brand.

The benefits that will flow from this tournament will include spending on hotel and guest house accommodation, restaurants, transportation, retailers, activities and indirectly on goods and services incurred before and during the event. As we grow sustainable tourism, opportunities for the arts and craft sector also emerge. Around George there are businesses that have grown from the crafting abilities of talented individuals into recognised brand names – we need the next generation of smart products.

An event such as Craven Week will also create livelong memories for participants and spectators. Not only does this event promote a healthy and active lifestyle but also opportunities to enhance emotional and mental well-being along with lessons about dealing with success and disappointment in life.

By the time this newsletter is read, we trust that the hundreds of supporters accompanying the teams to George would have had a wonderful experience.