Project 90 Kicks Off Local Soccer Initiative

Project 90×2030 is partnering with Great Commission United Academy (GCU) headed by Mario van Niekerk. This is an inspiring project that encompasses youth, soccer and the environment in the township of Heideveld in Cape Town.  

Mario aims to redirect the cycle of crime through involving the children in the surrounding area in soccer, other sporting activities and food gardens. Children are given responsibility through taking ownership of the food gardens which creates a sense of community and hope in the soccer teams. The children spread the ‘Gospel of Greening’ as Mario also aims to start a recycling initiative in his community. These activities help the children to stay away from gang and drug related activities. Darren from GCU Academy says: “It [GCU Academy] keeps me from roaming the streets, not to do drugs, and to stay out of the gangs.” Mario believes in the idea of  ‘prehabilitation’ instead of rehabilitation which does not respond to the past but rather builds the future.  

 GCU has received funding through Project 90×2030 to complete various projects which will enable:

  • 10 youth soccer teams to be equipped with soccer kits, training equipment and soccer balls
  • 40 families to start a home garden
  • 1 community garden to be established as a show and training garden
  • 20 soccer team members will become skilled in reuse and recycling of solid waste materials (paper, cardboard, steel, aluminium, copper and plastics)
  • 4 training workshops to be held

If you are interested in supporting GCU please visit and if you are interested in donating anything please explore their wish list on GCU’s website.

Story by: Rebekah Hughes (Springfield Convent Senior School)


2 responses to “Project 90 Kicks Off Local Soccer Initiative

  1. Matthew Bell

    this is some pretty good stuff. does springfield play a role in the project at all?

  2. Hi Mathew, no Springfield is not invloved yet, Becky (who wrote the piece) was jobshadowing us here at the office when we met with GCU. But I know that she was keen to become involved and we are hoping that the Springfield Project 90 Club can help Heideveld with their recycling scheme.

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