First K4L Academy students enrolled!
It has been a momentous few weeks for the first full in-take of Kick4Life Academy participants.
Eight boys from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 12-14 moved into a house close to the Kick4Life Centre where they will live for the next 4-5 years as they work towards completing secondary school and securing fully-funded soccer and academic scholarships at international universities.
As well as settling into their new home, the boys started to receive high-level football training from Coach Darren Wiltshere who will be working to improve their technique and team play over the coming years.
Darren said: "Each of the boys has different talents and strengths, and some of the skills on display during training are fantastic to see. Our main focus so far has been trying to set an intensity in training sessions that will allow each player to improve and enjoy every session. The boys are attentive and motivated to improve and so far have been a joy to coach."
The boys also started secondary school at Thetsane High School through a partnership secured by Kick4Life. Mr Tso’anelo Seboka, the principal of Thetsane High School said, "We are very pleased to be working with Kick4Life. This gives us an opportunity to strengthen our relations even more.”
Speaking on behalf of his teammates, Academy participant Bakuena Ramakatsa said they are very happy for the opportunity Kick4Life has given to them and they promise to work hard. He went on to say they regard themselves as lucky to be working with one of the best coaches in football.
The Academy's intensive and holistic approach to the development of participants is designed to permanently transform their lives. It also aims to secure significant educational investment in Lesotho that will help to nurture future leaders who will contribute to the country's sustainable development across multiple sectors.
Academy Director Hana Taiji said: "The past weeks have seen many firsts for these boys, including the start of secondary school, baseline assessments in physical fitness and English comprehension, and activities held in team-building and character development. We have high hopes that we will see a lot of individual growth in their football, character and academics in the coming months. Energies are high and we are really excited to continue forward!"
Jason Naidoo has joined the Academy along with his brother Lloyd. After their father died, it fell upon their mother to bring in money and look after the family. It was tough and things became more difficult for Jason when he lost his hearing at an early age. This held him back academically and he also suffered bullying. The football pitch has been the one place where Jason can express himself freely. K4L is now helping him to access suitable hearing aids so he can progress in school and work towards a successful future on and off the pitch.
Kick4Life is seeking sponsorship for the Academy participants with a range of funding options. If you would like to support this exciting programme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org