African Brothers Football Academy aims to assist with the uplifting and improving of school sports facilities, and provide children with skills they can use in the future. Craig Hepburn, the director, spoke to us about what they do.
They started out in Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay more than 20years ago. The original purpose of the project was to get people who are illiterate and unemployed and integrate them back into football. At that time there wasn’t facilities in that area so they moved it back in to the city central.
They then focused on government school, such as Gardens Commercial High School where they fixed the facilities. That one school took 3 years to complete, but has been sustainable since then.
They are able to meet with the students for one hour per day in the afternoons. They would have the soccer practises for a bit longer but sadly due to complaints from neighbours who don’t see the vision of the project they can’t.
The main focus of the project is to fix up the school facilities, broaden the children’s thinking, give them additional skills and involve the community to bring about unity.
ABFA doesn’t just fix the facilities and let the kids play soccer, but they coach them on how to play properly, how to coach and be a referee as well as a sports commentator.
They will be launching the Unity Cup 5-aside soccer tournament, next year, which will include primary and high schools, and boys and girls (despite the name they work with female teams too).
It won’t just be giving soccer training, referee courses and coaching training; they will also take some students to do the social media engagement and commentating.
They are currently not in the Cape Flats, but they would love to expand. They do believe the expansion into the Cape Flats is possible and they even have the steps of what needs to be done. Craig explains, that the schools need to be fixed, made safer for the learners to learn and get the community involved in the afternoons and weekends.
This would also save the government from using money to build community centres, because the schools would be made the main focus point.
With all of this they hope to pull young people away from all the negativity in our society, bring hope and allow them to dream.
To contact them and get involved please go to www.abfa.co.za. or on 072 425 5983