It has been quite a busy time at Ubuntu. Pretty much every aspect of our organization is growing tremendously and we are being stretched as a staff. We have had to make many tough decisions and even some unfavorable ones. Overall, it has been a challenging season in the life of Ubuntu, but we seem to be getting lots of encouragement from people around us. We wanted to share this with everyone, not to brag and boast to you, but to show that it couldn’t possibly be us that are running this organization. It is God that is running Ubuntu and we want to make sure he gets the glory for this. Read some of the encouraging texts and emails we’ve gotten:
“Here, I must also acknowledge and thank Ubuntu for your contribution to the success of our boys, as I believe that your programmes have definitely added much weight in assisting them to acquire additional skill and to lift the quality of their game. This is definitely a strong case to demonstrate the power and success of an effective partnership and I wish to thank you for the manner and spirit in which you approached and worked with us regarding our agreement of cooperation. This certainly leaves me feeling very confident and satisfied about our decision to partner with Ubuntu.” –Coach from partner club
“We just want to express our gratitude for inviting and allowing our boy to be part of the Ubuntu trial. He could not stop talking of how much he is enjoying the training sessions and the spirit in which it was conducted. We value the Godly principles on which your are structured and with God in the centre of it all, your organization will surely stand out amongst the rest.” –Parent of boy at trials
“You guys have done amazing work and with the right values in place. I have noticed the warmth and care the boys receive. Thanks for all you do.” –Parent of academy boy
I wish we could feature all of the different encouraging texts, emails, posts and comments that we get from you guys, but then this blog would go on forever! Thank you to all of you for how wonderfully supportive you have been to Ubuntu Football.
As our season has come to a close, we have been able to celebrate some pretty monumental accomplishments and successes in Ubuntu. The most obvious of those is our Fish Hoek U-13 and U-14 squads both winning the Cape Town Tygerberg Super League, arguably the toughest league in all of South Africa. Our Fish Hoek U-15 squad narrowly missed the Super League first place spot, but still grabbed second place in an extremely competitive league. We had 14 of our players selected for their District Team, 7 of whom went on to play for the Cape Town Regional Team, and 5 of those players have been selected to play for the Western Cape provincial team.
Coach Sean and Captain Tevin posing with their U-13 1st place trophy
Coach Erik and Captain Keenan posing with their U-14 1st place Trophy
We had an extremely successful trial this year choosing our new pre-academy group and some new 2000’s. We can’t wait to introduce the new group to you soon. This brought the number of academy players up to 73, with 36 of those players on full scholarship. It is amazing watching all of the players practicing and seeing how much we have grown.
The celebration of all of these accomplishments and successes pale in comparison to the celebration of the hard work and growth mentalities we are seeing in our boys. One of our core beliefs at Ubuntu is that hard work and excellent effort should be valued much more over accomplishments.
Jesse receiving the October Ambassador Award
We try to live this out by the awards that we give out to our players. Every month we give the Ambassador award for the boy that has truly shown how hard he can work. Then at the end of the year, we give the Extra Effort award to honor the boy out of each age group that shows true leadership by his example of coming to practice everyday, working hard and seeking to improve.
We will be having our end of year celebration at the beginning of next month where we will give this last award out. Stay tuned to see which of our boys is leading the pack.
Our over 37 kids at Football Friday!
Welcome to our newest Football Forward Friday program in Khayelitsha. This branch of our training runs in a township that has the title of second largest township in South Africa, a population density near the same as New York City and a median average income of less than $2000. What an amazing area and culture to expand to and plant our Ubuntu flag.
Friday, September 27th was the first day of running training in Khayelitsha and it was a great success. We’d contacted clubs in the area and asked them to bring a couple of hard working and skilled kids. When our coaches showed up we had zero kids, but within 20 minutes, boys started showing up from everywhere. We ended up having 24 kids training with us from clubs in the surrounding areas.
We were absolutely shocked at the turn out and ended up having a very productive session with the boys. We focused on learning some turn moves, did a life lesson on where we find our strength and ended with some small 6-a-side games. Our coaches and staff are excited to see how the kids flourish as we continue the program.
Wandile Helping at our Grassy Park Football Friday
Another new aspect we have added to our Football Friday program is having our older Academy boys, 98s to 2000s, volunteer as coaches. We have the boys scheduled to assist in each Ocean View and Grassy Park and even in our new program in Khayelitsha. Not only are they a huge help, but it has been a great way for them to learn by teaching, learn about servanthood and learn to spot true talent. We also like it because it gives us a great excuse to hang out with our guys.
As you can see, things are really growing around here. It’s almost more than we can handle. We have trials coming up, house updates and the end of the season news. Stay tuned for more blogs in the coming weeks!
Because we lost a few of our 2000s who decided to pursue opportunities outside of soccer, we are looking to bring in a few new 2000s.
Trials for players born in the year 2000 are on the following days:
Sunday, 5 Oct, 2pm-4pm
Players from that trial will be invited back to trials on Tuesday-Thursday, 7-9 October. Those trials are from 1pm-3:30pm.
All sessions are at the Fish Hoek Football Club.
To participate in the trials players MUST contact us at email@example.com to get an official invitation.
We have two new ways to get involved and support Ubuntu Football!
Anyone can host an Ubuntu Football Juggle-thon or host an Ubuntu Football Party with a Purpose!
Check out our new “Support Ubuntu Football” page or click on the links below.
Party With a Purpose
Also share these ideas with your friends to help Ubuntu Football grow the next generation of African Leaders!
Our Academy House renovation project is in full swing. We have started knocking down walls and replacing the old with the new. This house will be home to 12-15 of our Academy players and a set of house parents. We have big plans for this property but we need more help to make this a safe place where our players can continue to grow.
Click on the link below to check out some of our “before” pictures and see our progress. If you would like to donate to help us complete this project, please let us know!
We’ve able to record more game action lately which is great for showing the boys the highlights and mistakes of the game, but it’s also awesome to share with all of you! Here is a video a volunteer from the ORU Team put together for us. Enjoy and share with others!
(BTW, we are almost always wearing gold, but occasionally we are wearing white shirts with green shorts, and in a few of the highlights we are wearing black with gold. You’ll figure it out!)
The last few weeks for Ocean View Football Forward have been challenging. We lost our field space at the community center for a bit and had to move our sessions to a field at one of the primary schools. Our attendance dropped because the field at the school is full of rocks and broken glass and this makes training extremely challenging.
After lots of prayer and lots of meetings, we were granted permission to use the community center once again. We are thrilled to be back in the dome! Today, we had a huge group of kids show up eager to train!
The timing was perfect because we have a group of volunteers from Oral Roberts University. The ORU students were awesome today with our FF kids. The kids absolutely loved having all of the extra attention. There were lots of smiles and love flying around Ocean View! We are excited to see the ORU volunteers love and lead our Ocean View youth in the coming weeks!
We made this video with the of our most solid 98s- Carl, Sinethemba, and Wade for our Annual Fundraiser at Sun Valley. You’ll love all that they had to share. They are growing up so fast!
Ubuntu Interview from Ubuntu Football on Vimeo.
Recently, Ubuntu took 23 girls to the MITS (Making an Impact Through Sport) Human Right’s Day Football tournament celebrating women in Mitchell’s Plain. The girls came from Ocean View and Masi, and for two days they played football and had time to just hang out together.
Each team played 5 games over 2 days and Love Life presented prevention education on HIV, early pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse. Amid the great football, the girls also learned about healthy self esteem, enjoyed great snacks and listened to some dance music between (and during) matches. Our two Ubuntu Football Girls teams finished 2nd and 6th out of 8 teams in the tournament. Through their efforts the girls earned medals and certificates and were also given T-shirts.
Aside from the physical gifts and awards, the real beauty of the tournament was seeing the girls’ joy and camaraderie. One player commented that it was so good to get out of Ocean View for a little bit. Another asked when we could start regular training. Other girls shared stories of HIV and early pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse in their families, and the day to day struggles they face in their townships.
Ubuntu sees these girls. We see their beauty; we see their value; we see them and we love them. We officially launch our Ubuntu Football Girl’s program in April. The plan is to start with training once a week and participating in monthly matches. The initial goal is to train these girls and give them a place to play football. Our goal is to love them and help them learn to love themselves. We want to raise them up to be strong leaders in their community with grace, dignity, and a heart for others.