Umoya Africa Academy came into existence when Tiaan Venter, a Sports Science Graduate and coach with a leading Tennis Academy in Pretoria relocated to Ficksburg, Eastern Free State in South Africa. He quickly became aware of a desperate need among young people from underprivileged communities, for role models and quality activities to fill their free time.
With the help of friends and family Tiaan managed to secure sufficient donations to purchase 5 mountain bicycles and accessories. With the consent of a local school principle, he held trials and selected a core group of five young men to participate in an extensive training program and prepare them for the local schools mountain bike racing league. In the first year these five young men got into a regular routine and consistent training. Tiaan also engaged with a local school and regularly led weekly assemblies with devotions and motivational talks to students. In 2015 these ambitious boys competed in the Free State regional school mountain bike series and achieved an incredible 4th team position in the youth boys category. For many of these boys it was their first venture outside the boundaries of the small border community which they call home.
Umoya formally came into being when Tiaan realized that there was a greater calling on his life to grow the mountain bike program in an effort to reach a wider group of young people. With the help of a Pretoria businessman and friend, Andre le Roux, they registered Umoya Africa Academy as a section 21 non-profit organization.
While Andre and his professional team offer marketing, administrative and accounting support, Tiaan continues to look for further opportunities to engage with the local community and reach a larger group of boys and girls with a view to help them rise above their circumstances and realize dreams of a future they never believed existed before.