There was so much wind in fact that the kids were having trouble working on their technical skills. The wind was blowing the balls everywhere and the wind was blowing sand in our eyes. What does any dedicated coach do? Coach Thomas and Coach Melissa held the balls while the kids practiced their technique of course. Crazy but it worked! The kids were serious about their skills and a little (or actually a lot) wind only made them stronger. However, we are hoping for calmer days this week!
Who are these kids that come to Football Forward?
They are creative, smart, talented, funny, focused, and very important to us. To know them is to love them.
These kids have dreams. Meet Casey. Casey has been coming to Ocean View Football Forward. She is 12 years old and is in grade 6. Her favorite color is purple and she likes math. She loves koala bears and mac&cheese. She hopes to be a nurse when she grows up. Casey is very focused at Football Forward. She is respectful and is a very good listener. It has been fun to see her confidence grow. She is a sweet girl with a very bright future ahead of her. Having her at FF and being able to love on her and encourage her has been a privilege. Helping her take steps towards her dreams is what we are all about!
These kids are determined. Our Masi Football Forward kids come out each week and play on a field that is dusty and bumpy and this week was also wet. They trained in the rain because they are learning that achieving goals takes hard work. Sometimes in order to reach greatness, things may be a little uncomfortable every once in a while. We love seeing them improve each week because they are learning how to work hard to achieve something that is important to them. They never complain. They never whine. They just train. Their smiles are contagious and coaching them is an honor.
This week our devotionals focused on discipline and integrity. Our Football Forward kids have potential. They have hopes and dreams. They are full of life. Being around them is joyful. So back to our original question….The kids that come to us each week are the future leaders of South Africa. They are super kids and we can’t wait to see what they will do!
In the past we’ve been really blessed to have a number of long-term volunteers. People doing gap years, taking a semester off, or needing a break after college. Right now there is a young man named Landon here from Alaska for 18 months. He’s primarily here working with Ocean View Methodist Church, but we steal him as much as possible. He’s a great asset to our work.
You can be a great asset also!! And we need you! With the rate that Ubuntu is growing and the different spheres that we are getting involved with we need more help. Our staff doubled this year but it seems as if our work tripled!
We have relaunched Football Forward this year with more clarity and focus. We’ve also launched it in a new community, Masiphumelele. So, we need more coaches for that. You don’t need to have a ton of experience, our coaches here can handle that part, but you can easily correct technique, offer encouraging words, and give high fives. You can help develop the devotions. And, we especially need female coaches to help us draw and retain more girls to the program.
With the Academy growing to 41 boys (53 if you include the Pre-Academy) we are stretched to the max. We need more coaches in that environment. We need people to help us set up fields. We could use people interested in strength training, exercise science, and athletic training. And most of all, we need people to help with the academic progress of the boys! The school manages that and provides after school tutoring, but 1 lady and 10 boys that are behind (some significantly) the grade level isn’t a great ratio. We could use volunteer tutors several days a week there.
As your organization grows, so does your financial need. As your financial needs grow, you are getting funding from a great variety of sources. And when that happens you need to communicate with them regularly to help them feel a part of the Ubuntu Family. We need help with that. Can you take pictures, tell stories, create content, manage a website & social media? We need help with it all!!
So, you can see we have needs. You likely have skills and a heart that you can offer. Are you a little fed up with the trajectory your life is on right now? Would you possibly want to spend your life in the investment of others, trusting that your investment would be a part of seeing this country change? Well, this would be a great place to do that. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make this happen.
Recently we held our Annual Supporters Appreciation Night and Fundraiser at the Sun Valley Group of Schools. The school did an amazing job hosting us and made everything beautiful.
This year the event had a twist as we started off the evening playing a match against our proud supporters, Coast 2 Coast. They have been an amazing supporter of Ubuntu over the last couple of years.
Once we played against them, the boys played each other in a tightly contested match.
After the match all the guests joined us in the Hall for a presentation of our vision, our success, and the plans ahead. We ate a delicious meal and enjoyed sharing all that’s in store for Ubuntu.
After dinner the guests were invited for desert and coffee over at Silvermine Academy High School, where most of our boys attend school.
We’re so thankful for everybody that came and enjoyed the evening with us. Next year we hope to have even more supporters to appreciate!
Kids at Football Forward are creative. Each week they show up in a variety of styles ready to learn and play. This week in Masi one player showed up wearing two different boots. They were all he had so he got creative and made it work. Another player showed up sporting an original jewelry creation. He had turned an old phone cord into a necklace and he was proud of his bling.
The creativity in our Football Forward kids runs deep. They play with heart and soul. They play around the alcoholics passed out in our sandy field as if the guys were defenders who had decided to take a dive. They play scrimmages pulling out all kinds of creative street moves. They are inventors. They are problem solvers. They are dreamers. They are artists. They are smart, and they are talented. We love our Football Forward players and we love that they remind us each week to think outside the box!
We had a fantastic week at Football Forward in Ocean View and Masi. The kids are settling into a routine and they are coming out each week to train and have fun. We have so many awesome kids that are seeking wisdom and accountability despite the hardships in their communities. They know that they can count on Ubuntu each week, and they are learning to build relationships with each other. This week we had two very special boys that really defined one of the things we have been talking about…teamwork!
Jaden and Keanu have been best friends since grade 2. They are currently in grade 5 and told me that they always look out for one another. This week they shared boots. They said that it is more fun to work together! They were so encouraging to one another and their attitudes and hard work made us all smile!
This week we trained the players on different kinds of turns with the ball. We also talked about initiative and confidence. We want these kids to apply what they learn each week where they live, study, and play! Football Forward is a place to grow football skills as well as relationships. We love on these kids and they learn to love on each other!
For the 3rd year in a row we decided to take the boys on a preseason camp. It’s a great way to introduce the new guys to the group, get the rust kicked off from the summer holiday, and continue to teach our culture.
For the 2nd year in a row we headed just over Chapman’s Peak to Hout Bay. We stayed at the Apostles Battery Camp and trained in the Hangberg area. They were so gracious to let us train there.
This year the group was close to 40 boys, 9 coaches, and two amazing wives doing all the cooking! We had such a great time.
Here is an awesome recap video that our fantastic volunteer/intern, Landon, put together. Enjoy!!
This past week Sun Valley Primary School had their annual Athletics Day (Track & Field for you Americans). All the schools in the area will have a similar event. Sun Valley makes it a really big deal with big time school spirit. All of our new Academy boys are eligible to participate, but some get nervous and don’t do much.
Not TEVIN POTTS!! Tevin kicked butt! This is what the Sun Valley blog said about him:
Some performances which stood out on the day:
1. Tevis Potts (Gr 7), a new student from the UBUNTU Football Academy, ran the 100m Sprint in 13,0s. A phenomenal achievement. He also broke the 150m record, 1200m record and his Relay Team (De Stadler) beat the School Relay record.
We knew Tevin was fast, but it’s so cool that he got to show his new school just how fast he is. I’m even a bit shocked he dominated to such a degree. Last year, when he was playing for the U13A Team at Fish Hoek AFC as an U12 he looked so small compared to the other boys, but even then there would be moments where he would go zooming past people. Can’t wait to see what he does on the field this year.
Way to represent Tevin! Proud of you!!
Football Forward had another great week of training and fun! Our programs in Ocean View and Masiphumelele are growing in popularity. This week we saw quite a few returning players as well as some new faces.
Coaches Treswill and Coach Sean led the Ocean View crew and Coach Thomas led the Masiphumelele group. This week we worked on ball control and footwork skills that involved starting and stopping the ball with different parts of the foot. We also introduced a move called the “scissor” which was a huge hit! The kids absolutely love learning and using new skills, especially when they can take them back to their street games. We also talked with them about leadership and reliability, and how both of these character are important for all successful footballers.
The kids were extremely engaged and very interested in getting better this week. They know that they must come to the skill training in order to scrimmage during our Football Forward sessions. We are modeling discipline hard work to teach the kids how to value a strong work ethic. We work hard and then we play hard. One boy played his heart out in mismatched boots!
These technical ball control and footwork skills will eventually build confidence in players. That confidence becomes part of who they are on or off the field. We are excited to see these kids grow this year!
Ubuntu loves to partner with others to serve and love on our boys. At Sun Valley Primary School, our Birdie Num Num friends love on our boys through their stomachs! These sweet people make sure that our boys get proper nutrition at school so that they can train like champions in the afternoon. We LOVE them and couldn’t take take care of these boys nearly as well without them.
It takes a village to raise a child. Being on mission with us is a journey that changes the world one life at a time. We can’t do it alone. We need teammates! We need food, soccer equipment, house supplies (yep, Ubuntu is getting an Academy house for these boys), SVPS uniforms, and monetary donations to make it all work. Ubuntu also needs a van or SUV to help transport these superstars to school, training, and games.
If you are already on mission with us, we thank you! You are part of our village. If you would like to partner with us or know someone else who would love to share in our journey, please let us know through our contact page or make a donation online.