South African Academy to visit the north coast

Wayne McAfee with Captain Lifa Nqayi.
Wayne McAfee with Captain Lifa Nqayi.

On 29th September 17 South African young men will embark on the trip of a lifetime to Northern Ireland on a football tour.

They are part of the Sports Academy George charity based in George, South Africa.

The Sports Academy uses sport as a tool to coach, mentor and raise up positive leaders in the underprivileged Townships in the area.

Sports Academy has strong Northern Irish roots as it was launched by Wayne and Suzi McAfee formerly from Castlerock in 2008.

They have been living in George now for eight years running the programme which has seen over 100 young people mentored through high school.

The Academy started as an after-school coaching programme and has expanded over the years to include working in local Primary schools, weekend youth clubs, life skills courses, Christian discipleship as well as careers guidance.

Director Wayne McAfee said: “This is the second football tour we have run after the first in 2010.

It is a fantastic way to create long term links with the schools, football clubs, Churches and sponsors that we are connected with.

“Out of the 15 boys we brought on the last trip -11 of them went on to further education or full time employment which is a great statistic for the community that we work in.”

The U17 team will initially be based in Portstewart with matches scheduled against Coleraine Grammar School, Macosquin FC, Loreto College and St Columbs in Londonderry.

They will travel to Belfast to challenge RBAI, Grosvenor Grammar School, Wellington College, Ashfield Boys, Sullivan Upper, Priory College, Lagan College and Carrick Grammar School.

The matches along with an action packed schedule of activities including an Ulster Rugby match, a meeting with the Mayor of Belfast and several fundraisers should prove to be the trip of a lifetime for the team.

If you would like to attend any of the matches or fundraisers happening during the tour or want anymore information about the work going on please refer to the charity Facebook page or website