- The Young Bafana Soccer Academy (YB Academy), an NGO based in the Western Cape, has entered its 14th year as a skills and education development programme for children, and its Founder and Director Bernd Steinhage is now eyeing their next phase of growth.
“Sustainability is a major keyword for us,” says Bernd. “We have worked hard to develop the programme into what it is today. Our numbers have grown to 225 boys and 22 girls, and for the first time we are fielding a full girls-only team. But we also need to innovate in the classroom, to make sure our kids are getting the best possible education alongside the soccer training.”
A Digital Learning Space
The vision for this next phase is quite straightforward. The YB Academy has recently built a massive new learning area completely out of sustainable materials, like containers. This entire structure fits the concept of sustainability that Bernd is after.
“Because of how we built it, the classroom is completely environmentally friendly,” says Bernd. This new learning area had all its taps, fittings, showerheads, and other products donated by hansgrohe, a major proponent for sustainable practices and the economical use of water.
“With that part complete, we are looking at adding a second classroom that will be completely digital,” says Bernd. “We envision a large, open area that encourages discussions and group learning. The tables will be large and round, and completely go against the narrow-desk, rigid style of other schools.”
This new classroom will be centered around teaching kids App development courses, to add to the YB Academy’s Maths and English offerings.
“We want them to learn how to build Apps and to manipulate technology for their own benefit,” says Bernd. “We are looking for an education partner to join us in this endeavor, so that we can teach the kids how to create their own soccer game.”
A Connected Past
Hansgrohe and the YB Academy have a relationship that goes back 9 years, with Hansgrohe as the main kit sponsors since 2014.
“Our connection to the Young Bafana Academy cannot be understated,” says Erwin Minnie, Managing Director at hansgrohe. “The relationship has almost reached a full decade and we absolutely love everything that Bernd and the team are doing. Their focus on sustainability, amongst education, skills development, youth development, and sport, is testament to Bernd’s fantastic guidance and a great team who are sincerely motivated to make South Africa a better place for future generations.”
If you would like to find out more about the Young Bafana Academy, you can visit their website here.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal