ACES Youth Soccer Academy (AYSA) has been confirmed as an official member of the United Nation’s Football for the Goals (FFTG) initiative.
Launched in July this year, the FFTG initiative provides a platform for the worldwide soccer community to advocate for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
These SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked goals that span poverty alleviation, access to education, innovation and sustainable development.
The Academy’s contemporaries among the UN Goals FFTG membership comprise the International Confederations Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Dutch footballing giants AFX Ajax Netherlands as well as professional leagues like the Italian Serie A.
Nigel Munyati, the founder and director of AYSA, says that since the Academy’s programmes were premised on some of the SDGs, joining the FFTG provided AYSA with an opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded organisations to bring positive change to Zimbabwe’s youth through sport.
“This initiative will tap into the power of football, not only to raise awareness and recognition of the SDGs, but to achieve behavioural change and sustainable practices in the football industry,” says Munyati.
He says the academy will amplify the SDGs through leveraging its visibility and outreach power via its players and staff, matches, tournaments, government, corporate, and NGO partnerships, as well as media and community engagements.
Over the years AYSA has entered into a number of international strategic partnerships that include FC Malaga City Academy in Spain, and Camp NexGen, an initiative by USA-based organisation, Let Girls Read, Run, Grow (LGRRG). -–Agencies