With roots in community development in the township of Khayelitsha, Cape Town, Connect Sports Academy began using the power of sport, especially rugby, to uplift underprivileged children in 2014.
Connect’s volunteer team ran regular, mass-participation training sessions on any available patch of land, while entering teams of youngsters into touch and mini rugby competitions around Cape Town.
By 2018, the community coaches developed through Connect from those early days were fulfilling that role for primary school children, working for Connect’s friends in transformation, Vusa Academy.
While their grassroots work goes on, Connect is determined to create a lasting human legacy by forging consistent pathways for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to unlock their full potential in the wider world, on and off the field.
In 2018 Connect Sports Academy moved into its permanent home, Burgundy High Performance Centre in Burgundy Estate, Cape Town.
There, Connect’s young athletes train, learn and grow into young professionals, on and off the rugby field under the guidance of our team.
Burgundy HPC is designed to provide a consistent, professional environment in which our athletes can unlock their sporting potential.
Many of them do so in combination with their Connect-facilitated scholarships at leading high schools in the Cape Town area.
The facility is also a space where Connect athletes can further their development after leaving the school system through coaching, work opportunities and further qualifications.
Connect also welcomes touring schools from overseas for training sessions and fixtures, in partnership with Edwin Doran Sports Tours.
Our ambition is to take the young people in our system through to adulthood and the professional world. With a holistic, hands-on approach, we intend to give those with the potential to become professional athletes every chance to achieve their dream with consistent access to quality resources and opportunities.
While doing so, we are committed to nurturing rounded, qualified and confident young adults, whether they go on to follow a sporting path or not.
Sport has the power to change lives. Connect will continue to use it as a non-profit company to transform South African society – one athlete at a time.