Our School, Our Father’s Academy launched the Free State Football Development Initiative last Friday, aimed at developing and training young players.
Following the launch, the organisation will be hosting a five-day football camp from March 25-30 at Grey College in Bloemfontein.
The initiative is supported and run in partnership with the Free State Department of Education together with the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation and MacDonald’s.
A pastor at the academy, Emile Fourie, said the aim of the camp is to teach young boys a variety of life aspects including teamwork, discipline, manhood, and character development.
“We are very honoured to be the host of such a prestigious initiative, as a small school with about 180 learners. It shows that our vision and development of the sport exceeds our capacity,” Fourie said.
He noted the boys would have an opportunity to play against different schools from and outside Bloemfontein.
The initiative would not only put their school on the map, but also indicate the beginning of better things to come for young footballers in the province, he added.
Through the annual camp, the footballers will go through proper skill training that will enhance their skills. They will also be engaged in different character development sessions, where they will be taught and mentored on the importance of walking in integrity and character.
Our Father’s Academy’s Setjhaba Lekhafola said the training of players will be conducted by professional and qualified trainers including coach Ricardo Katza, a former Bafana Bafana captain and Super Sports United player, ASP Sport- Fitness & Mental specialists, and OFA football coaches.
At the end of the camp the players will participate in an eight-team tournament consisting of under 13-15 years boys from schools across the province, with an opportunity to be scouted by Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic coaches.
A representative from the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Lebajwe Phokojwe, said they were very fortunate to be part of such an important event that will pave way for the future of young people.
“When we were approached with such an initiative, we looked at the objectives of the project and realised that they meet the criteria of our mandate.
“Being part of such a project allows us to give young people an opportunity to showcase their talent by playing soccer at a recreational level and maybe end up being professional footballers”, noted Phokojwe.
The winners of the one-day tournament will attend an all-expenses paid football camp in 2020, with professional trainers and coaches, in order to encourage and develop football in the province.
The winners will also receive R1000 cash prizes and MacDonald’s vouchers.