Football to address fatherlessness in South Africa

by Ambassadors In Sport
Westville Prisoners after Soccer Clnic
Westville Prisoners after Soccer Clnic

World Cup Launch & Partnership Agreement. We are delighted to announce that Ambassadors In Sport (AIS) have signed a partnership agreement with The Department of Correctional Services. The Hope Academy project will be one of the legacy programs of DCS during 2010 and beyond. AIS were invited to the DCS World Cup regional launch in Westville Correctional Facility in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Westville is the next centre of excellence that has been highlighted to launch a Hope Academy in 2011. The program of the day included: soccer clinics (run by AIS), speeches from national management in DCS and guests, signing of agreement between AIS & DCS and three soccer matches including a match between Golden Arrows (professional team in Durban) and the select wardens team. The day was a huge success and the excitement from national office around the Hope Academy project was evident with everyone we spoke with. The day after the launch we did a presentation for Westville DCS Management on the academy. Westville have shown a strong desire to run the program and launch a fully fledged Hope Academy beginning 2011. AIS will work alongside DCS to lay all the foundations for the academy during 2010. We are thankful for the success in Hope Academy thus far in both Drakenstein and Leeuwkop and we know that without Him none of this would have been possible. Drakenstein & Leeuwkop Update We launch the 2010 Drakenstein Academy on March the 15th. Adam Bull (new head coach) has been laying the foundations for the new season. Trials have been done in 5 different juvenile centers around the Western Cape and we have selected an initial squad of 15 boys. There are many exciting partnerships developing with Drakenstein but that will be highlighted in the next full report. We will not launch in Leeuwkop as we need to meet with management to iron out some issues raised from last year. Leeuwkop is still developing as an academy and we hope to have the academy running in full swing later this year.

Inmate doing his coaching assessment at coaching course.
Inmate doing his coaching assessment at coaching course.

Dear Friends,

Well we have come to the end of another year. This year has been our most productive with the Hope Academy projects.

TREC (Training Resourcing & Equipping Coaches)

This was run for the first time in Drakenstein. The course ran for a week and trained the inmates how to use sport to impact their communities.

The young men were trained as coaches. The response was brilliant and the inmates surprised everyone.

The course showed that these young men can use soccer to bring hope and change back in their communities once released.

Drakenstein Graduation

It was great to hear the testimonies and progress that many of the young men in Drakenstein had made this year.

Ex Academy members came and we celebrated the year with a meal and recognition of players who had impacted the Academy on and off the field.

The Academy also ended the year unbeaten and were presented the league trophy.


Leeuwkop has been setting the foundation for the new season in 2010.

Trials have been done and most of the squad selected.

The Academy will enter a league which is an exciting new development.


You may remember that AIS and government were in discussions about a partnership agreement leading in 2010.

This agreement has been approved by Correctional Services legal team and will be signed in early 2010.

This agreement will enable AIS to run and oversee hope Academies in Correctional Centers around South Africa.

This will enable us to reach more young men through the program and see God impact their lives.


New inmates will be selected to be in the academies next year. Some boys will be released and others will remain in the program.

With the World Cup happening there will be many visiting teams and events for the Hope Academies. It will be an exciting year.

End of year graduation of inmates.
End of year graduation of inmates.
Celebrating winning the league trophy and a successful year.
Celebrating winning the league trophy and a successful year.
Precious (prisoner) addressing all the families.
Precious (prisoner) addressing all the families.

Dear friends, the Hope Academy projects in both prisons have continued to go from strength to strength.

In Leeuwkop (Johannesburg) we have recently overseen the following:-

1. Academy level training through our License C curriculum that deals with passing as a foundation. 2. Life skills training focusing on forgiveness (we saw this was a great need in the academy). 3. Hosted mission touring team during Confederation Cup. 4. Made contacts into surrounding leagues to register the academy in a local football association in 2010.

In Drakenstein prison (Cape Town) we have recently overseen the following:

1. Our Academy in the local Helderberg League. Currently the team is top of the league and unbeaten for the season. 2. 2 of our players have been released. 1 player has been registered in a local team (we took him to trials) and we are trying to secure employment (Jam Jam). The other player is to be employed as an electrician (Enver). 3. We hosted a family day for all the prisoners in the academy. This was an extremley successful day. The family members testified about their hurt and fear for their children in prison and how the program has brought hope. 4. We are starting a community project where the academy boys will coach children in a local school.

We are excited about the progress made in the academies this year. Correctional Services in South Africa have seen the impact of the program and now want to go into a Memorandum of Agreement with Ambassadors In Sport to develop elite soccer academies in prisons around the country. This is the first initiative of this world wide to our knowledge.

Academy warming up in front of families and guests.
Academy warming up in front of families and guests.
Luyanda Jam Jam who was released - we are following him up.
Luyanda Jam Jam who was released - we are following him up.
The Leeuwkop Academy Team
The Leeuwkop Academy Team

Recently I visited our Hope Academy in Leeuwkop in Johannesburg. The prison authorities are very pleased with the program and the development of the prisoners. It was amazing to see the boys learning about life and then sing for 45 minutes in their cell. The spirits are high and the academy is making an obvious difference in each inmate. We are now looking at developing this model in other prisons nationwide. The Cape Town Academy in Drakenstein is also running very well. The boys are top of their league (we entered the team in an external community league). The prison has also seen changes in the inmates and used our model to run other sports codes in the prison.

The boys having assembly before training
The boys having assembly before training
The cell in Drakenstein
The cell in Drakenstein
Team chant "glory" before the launch match
Team chant "glory" before the launch match

We are delighted to announce the launch of our two Hope Academies in Leeuwkop Prison, Johannesburg and Drakenstein Prison, Cape Town. Leeuwkop prison ran trials in the whole juvenile section and chose 28 inmates to participate in the program for 2009. AIS were given permission to do trials in 4 different juvenile prisons around the Western Cape and select 22 players for the Drakenstien Academy. Both academies have started to implement the new AIS Academy curriculum, which has had immediate impact on the program and the players in the academies. The academy material has been developed and written over the past 5 years and we believe will be revolutionary for soccer development in South Africa. It is going to be an exciting year ahead and we believe strongly that this program will impact the lives of many prisoners in South Africa. The Drakenstein Academy has been accepted into an external league for the first time. Both academies are also training wardens and inmates to help run the program. The pictures show both squads on the day.

Team and launch party in Drakenstein
Team and launch party in Drakenstein
The Leeuwkop squad
The Leeuwkop squad



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Organization Information

Ambassadors In Sport

Location: Pretoria, South Africa - South Africa
Website: http:/​/​
Ambassadors In Sport
Project Leader:
Ben Marais
AIS SA Director
Pretoria, Gauteng South Africa

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