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The Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA) was established with the dual aims of achieving greater social integration in the Gansbaai region and educating and empowering youth, using sports as a vehicle for change.

Our multiple award winning programme launched in 2008, with the construction of a multipurpose sports facility, including a showpiece, a full-size, third generation (3G) FIFA standard artificial soccer pitch (sponsored by the English Premier League), situated at the cusp of traditionally segregated black, white and coloured areas of Gansbaai. This was achieved with the invaluable assistance of Sir Dave Richards, then chair of the English Premier League, (which still contributes funding to the project). We have also been assisted by members of the Overstrand Municipality, ABSA Bank and the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, all of whom helped us fund equipment and maintain the facility. 

The Football Foundation runs football, netball, hockey and athletics training sessions in Gansbaai, Stanford and Hermanus, which engage approximately 2000 youths each week. In addition to these sessions, we also run programmes centered on HIV education, female empowerment, environmental education, proper nutrition, enterprise development and integration. With this flagship programme, we aim to uplift communities by empowering individuals through sports programmes, including accredited skills training and leadership opportunities, and simultaneously promote education, health, social integration and participation through sports. Today we facilitate a great number of projects for 9 000 youth in the Overstrand, six days a week.


  • Uplift communities by empowering individuals through skills training and leadership opportunities.
  • Encourage education, health and wellbeing, social integration and community participation.
  • Support and initiate grassroots sports development in South Africa by providing access to education, resources, facilities and equipment.


Weekly Sports Programmes

The Football Foundation’s sports development programmes comprise training five days per week, with matches, tournaments and coaching clinics taking place on weekends. Dedicated coaches and volunteers run football, netball, hockey and cricket coaching sessions and education lessons for the youth in the Gansbaai area, developing youth between the ages of 6 through to 19.

Holiday Programmes

Holiday programmes are a highlight on the Foundation’s calendar, and attract children from surrounding communities for fun, interactive games and educational activities.



As a result of the tremendous success of our football programme and the demand for other sports codes, field hockey was introduced in 2009. After a visit to Grootbos, by former German Bundesliga player, Delf Ness (Der Club an der Alster, Hamburg) the Foundation was inspired to launch the Alster Grootbos Hockey Project, bringing hockey to Gansbaai for the very first time. This project started out solely with support from Alster Hockey Club, but has enjoyed the support of a number of large hockey clubs. Led by Delf Ness and Nicola Knaust, the Club hosts a fundraiser each year in aid of our Foundation hockey and this assists with essential hockey equipment and plays an important role in recruiting hockey volunteers we enjoy hosting each year.

Athletics & Cross Country

Under direction of Coach Corrie Avenant and with the support of Taurus Kelp, a number of young athletes take part in the regional and provincial competitions each year. Most years we are happy to boast both regional and provincial athletes in our squad.

During the Cross Country season the athletes get to travel all over the Western Cape to take part in various races - this greatly broadens their horizons and gives youth from the surrounding marginalised communities the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country.

Athletics was an obvious sport for the Foundation to offer as it can be practiced anywhere - on a beach, a mountain or a forest - with no equipment necessary. Athletics also teaches participants to compete against their personal bests and helps with teaching goal setting. Athletics as a sport teaches youth individual responsibility and imparts a great sense of achievement. We are particularly encouraged that a substantial number of girls continue to take part in athletics and cross country. 

Female Empowerment

Our Football Foundation female empowerment project promotes educational activities and discussions for young women in the surrounding Overberg communities. It focuses on helping young girls and women understand the importance of having female role models and becoming peer leaders in their own communities.

It also addresses pertinent issues such as the importance of speaking out about sex crimes and using preventative techniques to combat teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. This programme is supplemented by information on essential knowledge regarding health and nutrition.

Dibanisa: Conservation

Our Dibanisa youth environmental education & sport project is a unique after-school programme that combines sport and environmental education excursions to encourage an appreciation for nature. Focusing on the fynbos and marine environments - the main ecosystems in the Overstrand area - keeps it local and relevant.

It is an action-packed curriculum and aims to teach children about the environment in a fun and practical way, whilst cultivating a love for nature and promoting social change. As part of this programme, sport is also used as a tool to address health and social issues, as well as career education and training. From an environmental perspective, Dibanisa teaches children more about fynbos and the marine environment, focusing on the inhabitants of the ocean as well as the effect of pollution on our marine ecosystems.

Dibanisa places a special emphasis on the social dimensions of environmental issues. Its focus is on creating a generation of young leaders that possess the awareness, attitudes, knowledge and skills needed to conserve and protect the natural environment and combat the threats it faces. It nurtures a love for the environment and includes fun activities that promotes health awareness, skills development and social integration.

Coaching Skills: Hout Bay

Based on the success of our Overberg sports programmes, we recently launched a new coaching skills training initiative in CapeTown, in partnership with eta College (www.etacollege.com) and the City of Cape Town.

Conducted with youth of the Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu communities in Hout Bay, Cape Town (which shares a very similar social geography to that of Gansbaai) the programme aims to unite three divided communities (who live within walking distance but rarely engage one another) through integrated sport and development initiatives that encourage social inclusion, understanding and acceptance.

Our first accredited training programme ran over 18 sessions from February - June 2014. The vocational CATHSSETA accredited qualification skills programme was conducted through a combination of fitness workshops and classroom-based teaching. The curriculum covered employment, community and sports development, resource mobilisation, small business administration, financial management and personal development.

What was unique about this programme is their practical assignment - developing a community-based project that should run for at least 6 months after graduation, with a strong element of sustainability to ensure maximum community benefit.


  • 23 students graduated through the programme with a CATHSETA qualification.
  • Work and voluntary placements have been provided by the City of Cape Town’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), the Kronendal Primary School, local NGO ABC for Life and the Cricket School of Excellence.
  • A socially and culturally integrated programme with an average of 52% from the black and 48% from the coloured communities helped stimulate greater social intergration and understanding.
  • 4 new community projects launched as a direct result of the programme: 2 in Imizamo Yethu and 2 in Hangberg.

Food for Sport

Food for Sport is a 12-week training program, based at a local school teaching invaluable lessons in organic food production, nutrition and life skills.

The curriculum is “easy to understand” and includes visual, interactive learning material and methodologies. Each lesson is jam-packed with exciting practical exercises. Each participating school receives a vegetable garden through the programme.

Food production and learning is linked directly with sport, through the integrated curriculum, creating a fun and enriching experience. Healthy eating is encouraged and food production becomes an attractive and engaging activity - mirroring the current global trend of organic food production.

Ultimately, the aim of the project is to introduce the basics of nutrition and growing organic vegetables at home. The project supports children from vulnerable, marginalised communities in surrounding communities. Participation is free of charge and offers equal access, whilst maintaining 50% female participation.

Inclusive Integration Sports Programme (IISP)

The purpose of providing inclusive integrated sports sessions is to promote sustainable cross-community contact between the different surrounding communities of Gansbaai. Our sessions consist primarily of fun games and team-building activities that ensure every participant, regardless of gender, ability level or  background has the opportunity to participate.

The programme aims to support the Foundation's mission of using sport as a tool for 'social integration and participation'. With these sessions, we aim to promote an atmosphere of togetherness on a regular basis throughout the year in order to enhance the programme’s impact on the community. The programme's key objectives are:

  • To provide fun and inclusive sporting activities across genders and communities by enhancing basic FUNdamentals and a range of transferable sporting skills.
  • To provide continuous opportunities for social interaction and communication across segregated communities. 
  • To promote mutual understanding, co-operation and the development of friendships across communities.


The children are split evenly into groups according to their gender and school and are encouraged to work with people they don’t know, which greatly increases each child’s opportunity to meet new people, especially since most of the activities involve a great deal of team work. Fun and playing together form the key emphasis of the sessions, which has led to some children becoming involved in the Foundation's other sport programmes that run throughout the week.


The Grootbos Foundation together with, Stanford Canoe club launched a canoeing development programme on the Stanford River to introduce youth from the surrounding communities to canoeing. Stanford is home to one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the Western Cape, yet the majority of children in the town have little access to the river and no access to canoeing equipment.

Starting in April 2016 we have been working with 30 children from all walks of life, providing equipment and training and opening up the exciting World of paddling in Stanford. In conjunction with the Stanford Canoe Club committee, the Grootbos Foundation provides dedicated staff and volunteers to coach children between the ages of eight and eighteen in twice-weekly training sessions. We are very proud of the progress made by our team, culminating in them participating in a number of regattas and the Western Province Canoe Unions Triple Series. We are hoping to double the number of children involved in this exciting program and strongly cement canoeing as one of our core-sports that we support in the region.

Learn To Swim - Water Safety Programme

The Learn To Swim water safety programme aims at ensuring children in our communities are water safe. Drowning remains one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in children under 7, especially in a community surrounded by bodies of water.

The water safety programme aims to give children the tools to enter and exit the pool safely, return to the side of a pool, how to float and the confidence to engage with water safely. The first roll out saw 59 Grade R's from Masakhane primary school go through the basics of water safety. A second phase roll out now includes Grade 1’s, which aims to ensure children are able and confident to swim unassisted. 

The initial funds for the swimming pool were raised by volunteers and coaches of the Football Foundation through a fundraiser. The fundraiser was a three day, 90 km run from Danger Point to Agulhas and volunteers and coaches enlisted donations from supporting family and friends.