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Our Partners

Our Mission

The Connect Academy Way Since 2014

Using the sports industry to nurture young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, unlocking their full potential in the professional, adult world with consistent access to quality resources and opportunities.

Our objective is to prove there are no limitations in life for children and young adults whatever their personal circumstances, provided they are immersed in a challenging, caring environment that understands their individual needs.

This cannot be achieved with one-off events, clinics or initiatives. The cornerstone of our mission is taking a long-term approach, walking side-by-side with our young people, taking them as far in life as they choose to go, without any limitations based on the challenges of their family or home lives.

With this hands-on, holistic approach, we are committed to achieving our goal of developing South Africa’s next generation of well-rounded, independent young adults as leaders in their communities and as shining lights as to what this country’s youth is capable of when given the support they deserve.

Return On Investment

Our intention is to work in collaboration, not just as a beneficiary

Connect Academy can provide a range of areas in which to recognise a return on your investment in our work to nurture South Africa’s next generation.

This includes significant and consistent online reach in South Africa and in the United Kingdom through our broadcast partnership with SuperSport Schools and long-term tour collaboration with leading UK operator, Edwin Doran Sports Tours.

There are also ample opportunities for physical, internal and external branding at our bespoke gym and training facility at Bosmansdam High School in Cape Town, situated adjacent to the busy N7 highway, as well as A Field pitch side branding including exposure to the SS Schools coverage mentioned above.

Daily footfall includes elite and emerging professional athletes, as well as a student body of c. 1000 and the general public in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.

By partnering with Connect Academy you are committing to an organisation with an established track record in nurturing young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, with long-term planning, ethical and financial integrity the cornerstone of what we do.

Media Exposure: International

Connect Academy and its story has been extensively featured in video, print and digital media, in news and special interest features around the world, since 2014.

Programmes & Activities

Connect Academy has a sustained track record of long-term programme delivery since its formation in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town in 2014.

We use sport, with a primary focus on rugby, as the vehicle for this due to its existing popularity, opportunities for high participation numbers and capability to reach young people of any size, shape and gender.

While working consistently with an academy family of c. 50 young people on a regular or daily basis, our programme is tailored as far as possible to each individual and their needs. Our long-term, holistic approach is evidenced by our high retention rate of participants, despite working with some of South Africa’s most deprived communities.

From our initial Khayelitsha intake, these now include several professional male rugby players, an international female rugby player, professional coaches, those going on to further education at universities and colleges, over a dozen young people awarded scholarships at leading Cape Town schools and those completing their high school education directly through our academy or with our partners, Bosmansdam High School.

All the above occurs only because of a sustained, sympathetic and novel approach to youth development. Indeed, we view our work since 2014 as an extended period of trial and error throughout what we now regard as the first phase of our evolution.

Most exciting for the immediate future is our partnership with a government school in Cape Town, Bosmansdam High School.

Following a trial year in 2022, we are now set to implement activities throughout the year that will directly impact the existing student body of diverse children from varying personal circumstances, as well as our existing and future academy members.

This will extend to greatly increased female participation, a long-held ambition of ours, as well as branching out beyond our primary focus of rugby to use multiple sports and activities to captivate our next generation beyond the classroom and their home environments.

Geographic Reach

Connect Academy evolved out of several community projects in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, in 2014, with a particular focus on areas including Makhaza, Kuyasa and the informal settlements of Enkanini and SST.

The enduring impact of spatial apartheid, coupled with our lack of financial and human resources made it extremely difficult to meet the ambitions of our young participants in that initial environment alone.

To that end we have taken a journey since then that has set the platform for us to impact communities right across Cape Town and its surrounds.

Having located ourselves between the N1 and N7 highways in the city’s northern suburbs, we are now able to consistently transport young people to our academy base for their sporting, educational and personal benefit.

With our programme having nurtured young coaches and employees from a range of the city’s most disadvantaged inner-city and township areas we are also equipped, through them, to connect back into those regions through our outreach work, which increasingly involves partnering with local schools and further education institutions.

While the heart of our geographic focus begins and remains rooted in Cape Town, the outcomes of our programme include young people representing South Africa on the global stage at home and abroad, while our first academy participant to become a professional rugby player overseas did so in 2023, when he began the opportunity of a lifetime with Montpellier in France.

Media Exposure: South Africa

Connect Academy and its story has been extensively featured in video, print and digital media, in news and special interest features across South Africa, since 2014. Connect was also named the South African Sports Industry Development Programme of The Year in 2016.

Connect Beneficiaries

We have always targeted our work to benefit those from disadvantaged circumstances. This applies primarily to the popular use of the term in South Africa ie. those from Black African and Coloured communities, who remain disproportionately among the most vulnerable in our society.

Connect specifically targets two age groups: those of school age from transitioning to high school (aged 12-17) and those leaving high school education and entering the adult world (18 – 21). We draw a clear distinction between the two as their requirements and, therefore, our approach, is clearly defined between these stages of development.

Our current estimated beneficiary demographics, based on the c.50 participants with whom we engage directly on a regular basis, are 70% Black African, 26% Coloured and 4% White / Other. Please note these figures do not consider the extensive past, present and expected impacts on each participant’s family and wider community through our work since 2014.

Our programme also reaches a far larger number of participants on either a less regular or less intense basis.

On a supplementary level, we extend this approach to anyone we believe not to be adequately served by existing sporting or educational institutions.

This can apply to those who have suffered illness or sporting injury, or those overlooked for representative sports teams, further education or employment opportunities, regardless of race or gender.

Our beneficiaries are majority but not exclusively male. Female engagement, through rugby and other sporting activities, is a priority for our next phase as an academy.

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Reporting And Accountability

At Connect Academy we maintain a rigorous ethos of reporting, feedback and accountability.

We do this on a formal basis through annual and quarterly reports for our major funders as required.

We can also provide this information and answer any subsequent questions on a more personal basis through conference calls, email exchanges and ad hoc updates wherever it is deemed necessary.

We also have a board of directors, with the three executive members having dedicated themselves to Connect Academy since its formative days.

Our non-executive members, meanwhile, serve to provide knowledge and experience in areas ranging from community and youth engagement, right through to the professional and international sports industry.

Please contact us to request a copy of our most recent annual report.

Donate to Connect

Will you help us nurture South Africa’s next generation?

We are a registered non-profit company (registration number: 2012 / 057683 / 08) with PBO status. We can issue Section 18(A) certificates on SA donations.

Donate to Connect Academy

We always welcome donations, however large or small, on a recurring or once-off basis, to support our work. You can contribute to help us nurture South Africa’s next generation as an individual or through your company.

Donations have played a huge part in helping Connect Academy reach this stage of its development, taking our participants from their disadvantaged childhood circumstances, all the way through to their first steps in the professional, adult world and beyond.

Your support gives us the ability to work with flexibility in what is an ever changing environment, enabling us to meet the individual needs of each of the young people in our care.

Connect is a registered non-profit company (registration number:
2012 / 057683 / 08) with PBO status. We are able to issue Section
18(A) certificates on all applicable South African donations.

Our Donation Methods

Please click the links for either a recurring or once-off donation, where you will be redirected to our secure payment gateway.

Donating via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

We are also able to accept contributions directly via EFT via the following details:

Account Name: Connect Community Development
Bank: FNB
Account Number: 62356179939
Branch Code: 250059