Still no outcome for academy

2015-11-04 12:38

VIRGINIA. – The Virginia (Harmony) Sports Academy’s board announcement about the facility shutting down, has caused uproar among parents whose children are enrolled at the sporting institution.

The concerned parents have reacted with dismay and have approached the board to come up with an alternative to the predicament.


Eastern Free State reliably learnt that concerned parents had held an urgent meeting with the academy’s board on Saturday (31/10) to discuss the future of the 56 children on the rugby and football programme of the academy.

This meeting followed the one that was held a week ago (27/10) with representatives of the academy.

Parents have raised grave concerns. Among these are that with just six weeks before schools close for the year, they had no time to register their children at any other school, as schools had already closed applications for next year.

Ntsoaki Thoabala, a concerned parent, said during the urgent meeting held last week Saturday with the academy’s board to discuss the serious implications, the parents presented their concerns to the board.

The academy’s board announced at the end of September that it had decided to completely close the facility.

Estelle Cilliers, director on the board of the academy, said because of dire financial onstraints, the board had been unable to keep the academy running, hence the decision to shut it down at the end of this year, in December.

The institution, the most successful sports academy in the Free State, began operating 12 years ago, nurturing football and rugby players. Currently there are 36 football and 20 rugby players.

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.

According to Cilliers, in the last financial year (July 2014 to June 2015), expenditure reached R9,2 million with the cost of R100 000 in bursaries per child. She said the bursary covered food, transport and school fees.

Cilliers said most employees were on fixed contracts while the facility remained the property of the Harmony Gold Mine. The children enlisted at the academy attend school at the Harmony High School in Virginia and the Goudveld High School in Welkom.

The concerned
parents have reacted with dismay and have approached the board to come up with an alternative to the predicament.

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