Volkswagen opens R30-million multipurpose sports facility for its employees


Volkswagen Group South Africa has opened a world class sports and recreational facility for its employees at the manufacturing factory in Uitenhage.

Volkswagen opens R30-million multipurpose sports facility for its employees

The R30-million PeoplePavilion, which caters for indoor and outdoor sporting activities, will be used by all Volkswagen employees and their families on any day of the week.

“The PeoplePavilion is not just a building but a platform where all our people can engage with each other in a different manner beyond the hierarchical structures. This world-class facility in terms of structure and quality represents what Volkswagen stands for as a people-oriented organisation,” said the Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, David Powels.

The PeoplePavilion was built on the same land that housed the previous Volkswagen’s sport complex. “Our initial plan was to renovate and improve the physical structure of our aging sports complex. However, it became apparent when we were reviewing our new company strategy that people form an important pillar of our plan to being a great organisation. This provided us with an opportunity to invest in a people facility which would help to improve their quality of life whilst also allowing us to engage with them,” added Powels.

The facility has a gym which is managed by a qualified Biokineticist and is open to all Volkswagen employees to use for a nominal membership fee. The gym will also be used for the rehabilitation of injured Volkswagen employees and is equipped with purposely built gym equipment. There is also a clubhouse with a licenced bar and terrace which overlooks the multi-purpose main field that will be used for soccer, rugby and cricket.

The clubhouse has been outsourced to Ashwin Doolabh, a local entrepreneur. Doolabh is one of the local entrepreneurs that has been mentored and coached at the Volkswagen Business Support Centre in Uitenhage.

The highlight of PeoplePavilion is its indoor multi-purpose sports hall which is available to employees and local community to hire for family celebrations such as weddings. The hall can also be converted into a 450-seater conference centre. The multipurpose hall is also fully equipped for indoor sporting activities such as indoor cricket, indoor soccer, volleyball and martial arts.

Currently over 1 500 Volkswagen employees (about 30% of the employees in Uitenhage) actively participate in 13 different sporting codes like netball, soccer, cricket, cycling and klawerjas. “We hope the new facility will attract and motivate more people to participate in different sporting codes that are available. We want PeoplePavilion to be home to our talented sportspeople and their supporters,” said Powels.

The facility has already hosted a number of employee events since it opened last month. These include the inaugural soccer match between Volkswagen managers and supervisors as well as an open day for employees and their families. The first stage of the 2013 Volkswagen Rally on 19 July can also be watched from the viewing decks of the clubhouse.