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Project “Academy House” is underway…

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!

http://halls4hope.com/this-old-house/

 


Early Season Highlight Video

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!)


Football Forward is flying high!

IMG_1726The 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!IMG_1727

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!IMG_1725

 


Video with 3 of our Best

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.


Ubuntu Football Girls Program

IMG_1208Recently, 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.IMG_1194

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. IMG_1193We 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.


Massive Celebration

We have so much to celebrate this week!  This past week two of our teams won tournament championships.

After U16 Rygersdal

 

Sim likes the Trophy

Sim likes the Trophy

The U16s won the Inaugural Rygersdal Club Championship.  It was a smaller tournament, but with some quality teams.  The boys played 5 round-robin group games.  They won all 5 of those.  They then played a final against the 2nd place team in the round-robin, Idas Valley.  This was actually a bit of a rematch because most of those boys played for a school that defeated them in the U15 Coke Cup with their schools.  Over the course of the games the boys scored 19 goals and only conceded once.  Carl Van Rensburg was highest scorer of the tournament with 6 goals and Chadley Philander was named Player of the Tournament.

The Parents are Proud

The Parents are Proud

Player of the Tournament, Captain, and High Scorer

Player of the Tournament, Captain, and High Scorer

While that was nice, our U13s won the Strandfontein Tournament-by-the-Sea.  This is, without a doubt, the best U13 tournament in our region.  With 32 clubs participating, all of the “big boys” play in this tournament.  This victory is our most significant to date.  This year’s tournament was even more difficult than in the year’s past.  Because the Friday was a public holiday they added a whole extra day.  The team played 7 matches over 3 days.  Thankfully, Coach Sean has developed a lot of depth in the squad and he was able to rotate players regularly throughout the group games and the early knockout rounds.

Having Fun Between Games

Having Fun Between Games

Good Crowd Support

Good Crowd Support

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team eliminated Morgenster 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Sunday.  At the same time Milano was beating Ajax CT on penalties to set up our opponent for the semi-final.  We eliminated Milano in the semis.  We were already winning 1-0, and had just been awarded a penalty kick, when one of their supporters attacked the referee.  The match was called off and we advanced, though we were all over them anyways.

Sean Looks Excited

Sean Looks Excited

Looking Focused before Final

Looking Focused before Final

 

In the Final the boys were matched up against Maties.  This is a newer club on the scene, and they eliminated Old Mutual and Fire Fighters in the quarters and semis.  Maties opened the scoring in the 1st half on a free kick that they shot in from just inside midfield.  That ended up being one of only two shots on goal that they would have (the other also being a free kick that they tried to shoot from around midfield).  Our boys were playing some really nice soccer and continued to create chances.  They were frustrated at halftime to be trailing.

Motivational Halftime Talk

Motivational Halftime Talk

However, after a positive pep talk from Sean at halftime the boys came out determined in the 2nd half.  They continued creating chances in front of goal and even hit the crossbar once.  Finally, Ashley Wyngaard found the equaliser after some nice combination play with Josh Fisher and Ridhaa Essack.  The winner came shortly after when Vusumzi Plamana played a beautiful through ball to Tevin Potts who rolled the ball home.

Chasing Ashley to Celebrate Equalizer

Chasing Ashley to Celebrate Equalizer

It was such an exciting match.  I was so proud of the character that all the boys showed.  They pushed themselves through fatigue to play that many games.  They never let themselves get dragged into conflict as teams continued to foul them.  And they supported each other well.  What a massive weekend for us!

Team Celebrating

Team Celebrating

Not to be lost in all of this was that Ubuntu put together its first girls team ever to play in a tournament in Mitchells Plain.  We’ll get Coach Melissa to write a separate review about that.


Football Forward is a blow out!

IMG_0919This past week we had some serious wind at Masi Football Forward. African wind is almost indescribable. It comes our of nowhere and it is fierce.

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 super kids?

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 isIMG_0802 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 IMG_0826takes 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!


When Are You Coming?

99s @ 2014 FundraiserIn 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 casey@ubuntufootball.com and we’ll make this happen.

 


Annual Supporters Appreciation Night

2014 Fundraiser artistic

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.

Guests on field

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.

Wandile against C2C @ 2014 Fundraiser

Once we played against them, the boys played each other in a tightly contested match.

Ascendis & Ubuntu Teams

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.

Hall

After dinner the guests were invited for desert and coffee over at Silvermine Academy High School, where most of our boys attend school.

Eric greeting Cris Dillon

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!

99s @ 2014 Fundraiser