Talent coupled with dedicated trainers and coaches have in the past often resulted in producing MANGAUNG sportsmen and women of national and / or international ranking who can hold their own against the best of the world. Sport stars that have developed their talent in MANGAUNG include Ryk Neethling (swimming), Zola Budd/Pieterse (long distance running), Tshakile Nzimande (athletics), as well as several cricket and rugby heroes, such as Hansie Cronjé, Alan Donald, Nicky Bojé, Os du Rand and Rassie Erasmus.
Team sports also prosper and MANGAUNG based teams made a clean sweep during 2005 by winning most of the prestigious trophies in South African sport. These teams include the Free State Cheetahs (rugby), Free State Eagles (cricket) and Bloemfontein Celtic (soccer).
Against this background, the MANGAUNG Local Municipality is proud of the culture of sporting excellence that prevails within its borders. This excellence is being reflected in the area’s modern and well-equipped facilities, the achievements of numerous talented sportsmen and women, and in the contributions of dedicated coaches and sports administrators at a professional and amateur level.
MANGAUNG hosts a variety of provincial, national and international sporting events annually. This is made possibly by a wide variety of excellent sports facilities in the area. Facilities and supporting infrastructure for most sporting codes are available in the city. The Free State Stadium is probably the most prominent sporting facility in MANGAUNG. Although this stadium is the headquarters of the provincial rugby team, the Cheetahs, it is a multipurpose facility, catering for rugby and soccer, as well as other events.
There are two other sports facilities adjacent to the Free State Stadium, namely a cricket stadium, Goodyear Park, where international matches are played, as well as an athletics track with a tartan surface for provincial, national and international use.
Within a 3km radius of the Free State Stadium there are numerous tennis courts and hockey fields. The main municipal swimming complex houses a 50m professional standard swimming pool and a second pool with a 3m and a 10m diving board. Both these pools can be heated, especially for use during the winter season. There are also other outdoor aquatic facilities offered by educational institutions and three covered heated pools at gymnasiums.
Other sports facilities in the MANGAUNG municipal area include:
- The Seiso Ramabodu Stadium (home ground of Bloemfontein Celtic, the local soccer team which was established in 1969 and achieved national status in 1993);
- The MANGAUNG Indoor Sports Centre (offering a variety of sporting facilities);
- Three 18-hole golf courses;
- Sports stadiums in Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo;
- Netball, basketball, soccer, hockey, rugby, squash and badminton facilities, as well as several bowling greens in the area; and
- Shooting ranges and gymnasiums offered by schools, tertiary institutions, military institutions and private organisations.