Smit promises safer Kings Park
Durban - Speaking to the 2oceansvibe's website
, former Sharks and Springbok captain John Smit
has promised to put measures in place to increase safety for fans outside Kings Park Stadium.
At 35, Smit, the all-time highest capped Springbok in history, will
become the youngest executive officer of a South African franchise, when he becomes Sharks CEO on July 1, 2013.
Following the growing concern over fan violence in the outlying areas of Kings Park in Durban after British tourist, Brett Williams, was murdered
three hours after a match between the Sharks and Rebels on March 23, Smit was quick to allay fears.
Smit confirmed that fan safety was top of his agenda and he would ensure that Kings Park Stadium continued to be a world-class venue.
"The sad part is that I'm pretty certain this was not the first out of
field fight. The terrible thing is that someone died here. We have to
maintain some perspective when someone has lost a life.
"The outer fields form a massive part of what the Kings Park vibe is about. Kings Park is one of the most-loved stadiums around the world. The Sharks will seek to maintain the vibe around the stadium and we will ensure there will be measures put in place, to make sure that people feel safe." Smit said.
Smit admitted he had a lot to learn, especially regarding the commercial roles of the CEO, but believed he was up to the challenge and felt lucky he could rely on the experience and support of departing CEO Brian Van Zyl, and an experienced board, who would take up a mentoring role for his initial period as CEO.
Smit promised to hit the ground running and said he would not take a
back-seat in his new role, promising a hands-on approach.
"Operationally, I will have to hit the ground running - initially that will be the rugby side of things, making sure the team functions at as high a level as possible," Smit said.