Academy closing

2015-10-29 06:00

THE

Virginia (Harmony) Sports Academy, the most successful sports academy in the Free State, is set to close for good at the end of December.

The academy’s board announced it had decided to completely close the facility, leaving staff and children on the academy’s programme out in the cold.

The institution began operating 12 years ago, nurturing soccer and rugby players. Currently there are 36 soccer and 20 rugby players.

Estelle Cilliers, director on the board of the Virginia Sports Academy, said because of financial constraints, the board was unable to keep the academy running.

According to Cilliers, the academy was registered as a Section-21 company, depending on sponsorships from private entities.

She said the Harmony Gold Mine had been the main sponsor over the years.

“Running costs have continued to escalate and the board finds it difficult to sustain the project without funding. In the last financial year (July 2014 to June 2015) expenditure reached R9,2 million. It costs R100 000 in bursaries per child. The bursary covers food, transport and school fees,” said Cilliers.

She said the academy was somehow not benefiting the region, as the majority of the children were from outside the region.

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