The Aces Youth Soccer Academy (AYSA) is a sport and academic development institution for boys and girls aged between 10 and 18. AYSA is the football development arm of the Aces Youth Sport & Soccer Foundation Trust (AYSSF). Since its establishment on February 7, 2001, the Academy has provided social development support for Zimbabwe’s disadvantaged children through sport and academic education. Many of the boys and girls were born into families shattered by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Without AYSA’s intervention, many would end up on the streets and inevitably fall victim to drugs, crime and HIV/AIDS.

Sport: A Vehicle for Promoting Youth Development

Developing countries, in general, have very limited resources, and therefore cannot support critical social development programs. In Zimbabwe today, this scarcity is exacerbated by HIV/AIDS that has consumed a large share of the nation’s human and financial resources, leaving – in its wake – a sad tale of young orphans, single parent homes, and extreme poverty. Without interventions such as the Academy, many of the children would be destined into a life of dependency.

The Academy’s founders, Nigel Munyati and Marc Duvillard, are accomplished soccer players and administrators who share passion for soccer, and helping develop the youth. Their passions led to a common vision of a Youth Soccer Academy, which they have made real.