News / Africa

S. African School is Home to Future Football Stars

S. African School is Home to Future Football Starsi
X
January 18, 2013 6:23 PM
In the sport of football (soccer), South Africa is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament this weekend. The Tan Academy is capitalizing on the popularity of the sport in Johannesburg by scouting and training young football talent. But it also provides the young athletes with a top-rate education, regardless of their social background. Emilie IOB reports for VOA from Johannesburg.
In the sport of football (soccer), South Africa is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament this weekend. The Tan Academy is capitalizing on the popularity of the sport in Johannesburg by scouting and training young football talent. But it also provides the young athletes with a top-rate education, regardless of their social background.
 
In a quiet and serious classroom in the eastern suburbs of Johannesburg are what may be the future of South African football. Like Nhlanhla Nkosi, several of the students are part of a top-class football academy called Diambars, which is located at the school. The philosophy of Diambars is to use football as a driving force to education, says Djelloul Habchi, a former professional football player from France, who co-founded the academy.
 
"We decided to give back to Africa and to try to promote education, and one of the ways to do it was to establish academies," Habchi explains. "We know that all of them won't be able to become professional football players. The rest need to have alternative careers."

The Diambars academy was created in Senegal 10 years ago and moved to South Africa in 2010.

Today, there are 50 students, between the ages of 13 and 15, enrolled for five years of training in South Africa. Most of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds and were chosen for their football talents.

They board at the school and only go home during the weekend. Nhlanhla, 14, has been playing football since he was seven. He has been raised by his single father, who had no idea his son was so gifted. When the academy staff told him his son had been accepted, it came as a surprise.
 
 "I myself was like 'wow.' I never thought he can do it," he recalls. "I know he can [be] a substitution goalkeeper. He could play rugby at school.  He could play cricket. But in terms of being a right-back [footballer], I never thought he could do that and I was really, really surprised."

Nhlanhla has been at Diambars academy for one year and still has four more to go. He says he already feels he has changed for the better, because of the hard work and the discipline the academy requires. If a child does not pass at school, they are expelled from the academy.
 
"The year I came to Diambars, it was very hard for me to adapt, so I got into a lot of trouble with the teachers," Nhlanhla admits. "So I decided to change and the boarding masters are very hard.  Sometimes, if you come late for supper, you just don't get any food or you just get punishment and you get your food.  But, it's nice because you learn, you learn a lot from it, and when you come back home, you can actually see that you know what, I've actually changed."

In just three years, the Diambars academy has built a strong reputation in South Africa. Last year, the academy won the prestigious Premier League tournament in South Africa in every division they entered.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid