Academy strives to change lives

2016-05-12 06:00
 Members of the Young Bafana Academy in training.

Members of the Young Bafana Academy in training.

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Young Bafana Soccer Academy was started in Somerset West in 2010 to keep disadvantaged boys between the ages of five and 19 away from the dangers of drugs, alcohol, as well as steer them away from engaging in criminal activities.

The academy was the brainchild of Bernd Steinhage.

Not only does it provide youngsters with a safe environment in which to hone their soccer skills five afternoons a week, but also every beneficiary is obliged to participate in the organisation’s educational programmes.

According to Steinhage, “Our educational and soccer programmes are designed to help individuals develop holistically, build self-confidence, keep active and stay off the streets. On Completion of the developmental programme, each person must be equipped with the essential tools and skills to be leaders that can make a positive contribution, particularly in their own communities.

Our ultimate aim is to ensure that each participant passes Matric with an exemption so that they can potentially further their studies at tertiary educational institutes.”

The Academy currently has over 100 beneficiaries whose progress is monitored on a daily basis. The organisation has an indirect impact reach of over 300 people from the Lwandle, Nomzamo, Zola, Khayelitsha and Athlone areas.

Measurable results are recorded and the benefits have revealed themselves on the school reports.

Added to this, the Academy teaches the children the life skills that they will need to succeed.

One participant, Tim Mulethu, says, “What I like about Young Bafana is that it teaches us about teamwork both on and off the soccer field.”

The Academy also tends to the kids’ nutritional needs with the provision of a meal at each practice session. To be able to continue the work that it is doing, the Academy depends on donations from members of the public. You can help in a number of ways ranging from buying balls, paying for the children’s’ transport to sponsoring shirts for the players and contributing to a staff member’s salary.

In return, you become a part of the Young Bafana family, receive a Section 18A certificate and derive exposure for your brand.

Ultimately, the Academy aims to build its own facility comprising an AstroTurf soccer field in addition to a full size grass pitch.

It also hopes to build partnerships with professional clubs in order to feed through talented young players who have the potential to become professionals.


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