Kick4Life Academy participants Bakuena Ramakatsa (18) and Thabo Mahlaha (19) will jet-out of the country for the United States of America (USA) next week where they will spend two and four years playing football and studying in a chosen academic subjects.
The two youngsters were unveiled at a media briefing at Kick4Life premises yesterday as the beneficiaries of a partnership between Kick4Life and Colleges in the USA.
Ramakatsa will be studying at Lewis and Clark Community College for two years while Mahlaha will be at the Freed Hardeman University for four years.
Alongside their football development, Ramakatsa will study towards an Associate Degree while Mahlaha will pursue a Degree program.
Kick4Life Chairman, Baba Malephane congratulated both athletes saying they are an example of hard work and what Kick4Life stands for which is ensuring making life changes through sport.
“As you may recall, Kick4Life is about changing lives and we are trying by all means to really change lives especially with children,” Malephane said.
Kick4Life currently has more than three players who are based in the USA having left the country through the same program.
Malephane said it is their mandate to keep exporting players on scholarship to guide them in realizing that football and academics go hand-in-hand.
“We are very excited to have our first scholars heading to the United States to pursue this incredible opportunity. Ramakatsa and Mahlaha have shown fantastic commitment over recent years as players in our academy.
“We are very thankful to have developed these two gentlemen and proud to say that they are not going to let us down,” he said.
Malephane highlighted that the criteria used for their academy participants included but is not limited to excellent academic performance, on-and-off the field character, conduct, hard work and discipline.
Meanwhile, Motlatsi Nkhahle Country Director of Kick4Life reiterated that their pride is in teaching young people that sport and academics can go together for youth development.
“With the support of parents we have been able to mobilise and show our participants to understand the value of education to go along with sports.
“We are hopeful that this is a start whereby now we will be sending at least three academy participants to United States and around the world through which young people from Lesotho can access life-changing scholarships,â€ Nkhahle said.
Both Makoanyane and Thetsane rose from the ranks of the development team of Kick4Life into being regulars in the junior team. They thanked the management of Kick4Life for the guidance and the opportunity to further their live dreams.
â€œI want to thank in particular Kick4Life while assuring that this opportunity will be one that I will make the most of and not only for me but also for the family of Kick4Life, I will keep on working hard and not to disappoint,â€ said Mahlaha.
Ramakatsa also thanked Kick4Life management and the team for giving him the lifetime opportunity and promised that it will not go to waste as they will keep on being those disciplined hardworking persons.
In August 2016 Mako Makoanyane and Lesia Thetsane became the first members of the Kick4Life Academy to secure fully-funded academic and soccer scholarships at universities in the United States.
Mako studied engineering while Lesia studied Associative Arts. While the two players have since graduated from their programs, they have since opted to stay on in the USA as they continue playing for a semi-professional football team Ballard FC in the USL League two.