Riverheights FA inspires youngsters with remarkable success

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Riverheights FA inspires youngsters with remarkable success

Riverheights Footbal l Academy has emerged as a beacon of hope for young soccer enthusiasts after clinching the MTC HopSol Youth Football U/17 title for the second successive year in the fiercely-competitive MTC HopSol Youth League. 

Despite facing numerous challenges, the academy continues to set a precedent for aspiring soccer players, paving the way for their future success. 

Situated in Goreangab Dam, Riverheights Football Academy has defied the odds to instill a winning mentality among its players across various age groups. Although they compete against teams with more established structures, the academy has consistently demonstrated its capabilities, proving its worth, season after season. 

Larry Luya, who coaches the U/15 boys, said when he started coaching at the academy almost two years ago, it was a challenge. 

“Our field was in bad condition; we didn’t have goalposts. But thanks to our sponsors, who helped us fix the field, we now have two fields, four goalposts, two big ones, and four small ones. It was not easy, but we kept on fighting,” he added. 

The boys’ training ground is at a place called Okapale in the middle of the Goreangab Dam community. 

It is a gravel ground full of stones, but somehow the boys and coaches have made this hurdle work in their favour. The academy’s success goes beyond just winning titles; it represents a significant shift in mindset among the young players it nurtures. Through dedication, hard work and unwavering determination, the RFA has become a symbol of excellence in youth football, inspiring young talents to strive for greatness. 

Founding member and coach of the U/19s, Richard Tjari, said they have six age groups, namely the U/11s, U/12s, U/13s, U/15s, U/17s, and U/19s. 

“I’m very proud to be working together with everyone because we are like family here. A big appreciation must also go to coach Nixon Marcus for coming in at the right time to help the academy with logistics and everything,” he said. 

Penda Ndivayele, who mentors the U/11s, feels that Riverheights Football Academy is a good club that is well- organised. 

“The main purpose is just to keep the boys off the streets. We want to give them a chance in life to be whoever they can be, to be disciplined, and to walk with it through life. We want to help them achieve whatever they set their eyes on in life and the future,” Ndivayele observed. 

As Riverheights Football Academy continues to flourish, it serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, and the transformative impact of sports on young lives. With each victory, the academy reaffirms its commitment to nurturing talent and shaping the future of Namibian football. 

The captain of the U/17 squad, Jayden Soroseb, said they were not well-known before, but started making their mark through the challenges they faced. 

“Our training conditions are not yet up to the same standards as those of other teams. But the thing that keeps Riverheights Football Academy competing is the heart and determination of the players,” he noted. 

Maria Luisa, one of the parents whose son plays in the academy, said she is proud of the boys and their success so far because when they started back in 2020, they did not have a field to train on. 

“When they started, they just used to play. A lot has happened since then; as they didn’t have uniforms, and they didn’t have shoes. They just played like that until coach Nixon (Marcus) helped and demarcated a field for them.” 

Luisa feels that for now, it’s the best thing that could have happened in the community. 

“They also get extra classes after school, which they attend. This makes us so happy because now our children are not only focused on the games. Riverheights Football Academy has helped us a lot as parents for our children to stay focused and to envision a brighter future at least. We don’t know how to say thank you to the academy; thank you so much,” she added. 

Riverheights Football Academy’s remarkable achievements in the MTC HopSol Youth Football League exemplify the spirit of resilience and excellence. As it continues to inspire and empower young talents, the academy remains a shining beacon of hope for the future of soccer in Namibia. -slunyangwe@nepc.com.na