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Future Light Football Academy: Shaping Rwanda’s sport stars

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  • Kigali-based Future Light Football Academy offers more than just a chance to excel in sports; it provides youth with a lifeline away from the dangers of life on the street and back to school and family life.
  • To further drive their reach, impact, and sustainable growth in Rwanda, the sports academy is seeking partners from sports clubs to corporate organizations.
  • Founded by Bram Vlaanderen, a Dutch lawyer based in Dubai with a big heart for Rwanda, and Eric Iracyadukunda, a Rwandese professional football player, the academy has the potential to turn into a center of excellence for youth development.

In the city of Kigali, Rwanda, amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, lies a beacon of hope and opportunity for the youth. Future Light Football Academy, a burgeoning center of sports excellence, stands as a testament to the power of dreams and determination.

Founded by Bram Vlaanderen, a Dutch lawyer with a big heart for Rwanda, and Eric Iracyadukunda, a Rwandese professional football player this academy is steadily becoming a haven for young talents seeking support and stability and to escape the lures of bad peer company.

“Of about 100 players, less than five are girls. Families are less likely to allow their daughters to participate. Our team members, especially the female ones, do their best to give the girls’ families comfort that playing with the academy is perfectly fine,” Bram told The Exchange in an exclusive interview.

“My partner, Eric, is a professional football player in Rwanda, playing at SC Kiyovu,” adds Bram. With the assistance of his friends and his wife, Eric leads the weekly training sessions and ensures that there is food for the rising stars.

As the sun rises over Kigali, the Future Light Football Academy comes to life with the sounds of eager young athletes, ready to sharpen their skills and chase their dreams.

Future Light Football Academy: Illuminating the path to success for Rwanda’s youth

For many of these youths, the academy offers more than just a chance to excel in sports; it provides a lifeline away from the dangers of street life.

“The players receive guidance to develop their skills on and off the field, as well as to the right decisions. In addition to physical training, we teach teamwork and discipline and direct them to positive behavior.

“We aim to drive change in the lives of our players. Many do not go to school, do not live with their families, and do not have enough to eat. This is the biggest challenge because it requires resources and collaboration with community leaders and government authorities,” noted Bram.

Under the guidance of coach Eric and peer mentors, these aspiring athletes are not only learning the intricacies of the beautiful game but also gaining valuable life skills that will serve them well beyond the football pitch.

Through discipline, teamwork, and perseverance, they are discovering their potential and building a foundation for a brighter future and gainful livelihoods, noted Bram.

Bram Vlaanderen’s vision for the academy goes beyond just producing talented footballers; it is about empowering young minds and instilling values that will shape them into responsible, confident individuals who can drive social and economic changes in the country of 14 million people.

His commitment to the youth of Rwanda is evident in his frequent visits to the country, where he oversees the progress of the academy and interacts with the students, offering them guidance and encouragement.

As the academy continues to grow and flourish, Bram says its scale and impact can significantly grow in multiples through corporate partnerships, further enhancing skills development, as well as increasing the number of youth benefiting from the program.

Future Light Football Academy
For Bram Vlaanderen and Future Light Football Academy, the dream is to eventually have a pipeline of Rwandan footballers playing in national and international top leagues. (Source: Future Light Football Academy)

Read also: Rwanda, Tanzania to lead EAC as 2024’s fastest growing economies

Partnerships: Benefits of collaborating with Future Light Football Academy

“We are seeking partnerships with sports clubs, authorities, and companies who share our passion and our goals. To move ahead, we look for resources including football materials, training locations, connections with non-profits, financial contributions, and the assistance of anyone who wants to get involved in our mission,” explained Bram.

By collaborating with the academy, companies and organizations not only gain access to communities to promote their corporate message, products, and services but also contribute to the development of talented young players.

Future Light Football Academy in Kigali, Rwanda, is on a mission to transform the lives of young people through sports. The founders believe that football as a sport is a great way to bring the players as well as the rest of the community together, and that the academy can build on that to realize stability in the kids’ lives with family and school as the cornerstone.

Partnership goes beyond just sponsorship; it is about making a lasting impact on the lives of young athletes and the community as a whole. Joining hands with Future Light Football Academy means investing in the future of Rwandan football and empowering the youth to reach their full potential, both on and off the field.

This academy’s aspirations represent a national ambition to excel on the global stage of football, inspiring generations of young athletes and instilling a sense of pride in the East African country’s sporting prowess. Partners will have the opportunity to be part of a noble mission to identify and nurture the next generation of top football players from Rwanda.

For Bram and Future Light Football Academy, the dream is to eventually have a pipeline of Rwandan footballers playing in national and international top leagues, a hope that would further encourage everyone in the country to take up the sport.

A Rwandese footballer making a mark internationally would not only elevate the status of football in Rwanda but also serve as a beacon of possibility and motivation for aspiring players across the nation.

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