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Academy View: Introducing Young Bafana

4:29 PM GMT+8 11/03/2017
Young Bafana Cup team
Today starts a new chapter in the story of Young Bafana and Today we begin our very first column!

ACADEMY VIEW:   BY        YOUNG BAFANA       Follow on Instagram

Our “Goal” with this column is to inform, educate and motivate the readers through the activities carried out at Young Bafana do on a daily basis.

We will take you through our journey as we train, play, develop our local and international partnerships and travel abroad and most importantly take you up close and personal with our people.

Young Bafana was founded by Bernd Steinhage, a South African who travelled, played football, studied and had a passion and a dream.

Steinhage says: “I left South Africa when I was 18 to play in Germany’s third division. Parallel to my playing career I successfully completed a degree in International Business, spent one year in Madrid and one year in Nicaragua playing in the Primera Division for Diriangen FC. Upon returning to South Africa I decided to turn my passion to profession and started coaching 8 children at a local school. Shortly after the 2010 Fifa World Cup the number of players increased to 40. I decided to implement an educational outreach programme and the rest is history.”

Our aim at Young Bafana Soccer Academy is the holistic development of children between the age of 5 and 19 in some of the Western Cape’s poorest areas. We provide these youngsters with the opportunity to hone their soccer skills whilst benefiting from educational, life skills and youth development programmes.

Steinhage says: “Our programmes are designed to help individuals develop holistically, build confidence and keep active. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that each participant passes Matric with an exemption so that they can potentially further their studies at tertiary educational institutes.” Moreover, gain access to USA Colleges on bursary programmes.

Our offering caters for young people wanting to pursue a professional career in soccer as well as those who just want to have fun. Beneficiaries receive training five times a week, a meal at each practice session, soccer kits, along with transportation to and from their homes.

The educational component involves Mathematics and English tuition through Somerset West Private School and Maths Man, as well as Imibala (Somerset West) and small group tuition. Players with literacy and numeracy deficits are identified through a baseline assessment and are provided with programmes to address these issues.

In terms of the life-skills programme, we closely with a psychometric professional to provide youngsters aged 15 to 16 with career guidance and aptitude tests. In addition, once a month those aged between 14 and 17 are treated to financial education and life coaching sessions where they are taught how to save, budget and follow their dreams.

We currently have over 100 beneficiaries whose progress is monitored on a daily basis. Measurable results are recorded and the children’s school reports are testament to their scholastic improvement.

Catch you all next week!