George residents learn Japanese

THE George municipality in Western Cape has started preparations for Japan's arrival at the World Cup by learning Japanese.

THE George municipality in Western Cape has started preparations for Japan's arrival at the World Cup by learning Japanese.

This was after Japan chose the town, which is one of the county's top tourist attractions, as their team base camp during the tournament that will be played from June 11 to July 11.

Mercia Draghoender, George's newly elected executive mayor, said: "It is a great honour for us here in George to host a great team of Japan's calibre.

"The preparations are going according to plan. We have started by organising Japanese lessons for our people so that they can easily communicate with the team members.

"We aim to make the Japan team feel home away from home. We are learning and they will definitely have a great stay."

Draghoender said the municipality had started upgrading two stadiums in the town, for Japan to use for their training sessions, at a cost of R5million.

"We are upgrading Outeniqua Park, which has been used for the IRB Sevens rugby tournament, and Themba-lethu Stadium.

"The presence of Japan in George for the World Cup will help us a lot in marketing our town to the international community.

"The requests for accommodation for the World Cup have been incredible. Many people will be in Cape Town for the matches but they chose George for accommodation."

George has another sports facility, the Lawaaikamp Stadium, which was opened by former Safa president Molefi Oliphant two weeks ago. The stadium was built jointly by First National Bank and the municipality.

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