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Village Sports Academy (VSA) offers a unique sports course. Not only is it giving young people formal qualifications so they can get jobs and pursue careers, it’s transforming their lives, boosting their self-esteem and teaching life skills to help them succeed.
Established by former All Blacks Michael Jones and Vaaiga Tuigamala, VSA maximises young people’s potential by using their interest in sport and athletic skill as a hook into education and employment.
Since August 2009, VSA has trained 274 students, all of whom left school with no, or very few, qualifications. In December 2010, 113 young people graduated.
Vavakiola Fosite, 20, has always had a passion for volleyball and dreamed of being a PE teacher, but finished school without the necessary qualifications.
“VSA has given me the pathway to further education. I want to go to Tonga and teach PE – that way I can give something back.”
Michael Jones is committed to seeing the students succeed: “This course costs the students nothing. All we expect is their time and a huge commitment. We remove the barriers so they can learn, and we make sure they are surrounded by good role models.”
The Tindall Foundation supports employment initiatives for those in greatest need. The Foundation is funding the Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust – a partnership between three Pasifika organisations, including VSA, supported by Maori tertiary provider Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
For more information contact:
Alison Leauanae, Co-ordinator, Pacific Peoples Advancement Trust
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