Welcome to Drakenstein Hope Academy
Drakenstein Hope Academy was the first official Hope Academy launched in South Africa in January 2008. The Academy works with juvenile offenders in Drakenstein prison, Paarl, which is 1 hour outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
The prison holds historic significance as Nelson Mandela was released from Drakenstein in 1994. During the apartheid struggle, football was used to bring hope and sanity to political prisoners on Robin Island where Mandela was a prisoner. Mandela loved to watch the games from his cell and enjoyed watching his fellow prisoners play the beautiful game, until this priveledge was stopped by prison officials. Years later Drakenstein Hope Academy carries on this legacy bringing hope to juvenile offenders around the Western Cape through football.
Drakenstein Hope Academy is special and unique on many fronts. When launched it became the first prison football academy in South African history. South African prisons are rife with gangs and learning centres for crime. The Academy attracts and recruits the top juvenile football players from prisons around the Western Cape. Each player is required to abide by the Academy code of conduct which includes no gangs and doing education. These players are transfered and housed in one communal cell through the Academy season. In 2009, the Academy participated in an outside league and won both the league and cup double without losing a game.
Ambassadors In Sport have 10 year's experience in prison football development and the Hope Academy model was developed to through seeing the talent and need within Correctional Centres. Many of these young men are caught up in prison gangs, come from disadvantaged backgrounds, are uneducated and have little hope in life. The Academy has restored hope in so many of these young men. We are proud to say that many of our graduates have gone on to live crime free lives, return to school or college, find employment, play on soccer teams and become responsible citizens in society.
Click here to watch a video on YouTube featuring the Drakenstein Prison Hope Academy.