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Ghana's future stars (NR)

Nikki Rixon/Twenty Ten

Associated features on Ghana: Daily living to a fan (Photo feature), Soccerscapes (Photo feature), First African Win (Photo and text feature), Ghana's Black Queens (Photo feature), Second hand goods (Photo feature), A female football fan (Photo feature) and Sports commentators (Photo feature)

Associated features on academies: The Red Stars, South Africa (Photo feature), Football college, Nigeria (Photo feature), A Dreaming Drogba, Liberia (Photo feature), Surviving Dreams, Nigeria (Photo feature), Hogsback Lion Cubs (Photo feature), Ghana Legend (Multimedia feature), A coach with vision, Zambia (Multimedia feature)

Location: Accra, Ghana

The Kwahu Tafo Village Football Academy, a project sponsored by the Ultimate Voluntary Organisation, is based in Mpraeso – a town 3 hours journey north of Accra. The Academy was established to train local children to improve their fitness and football skills. Many of the children come from underprivileged homes from the surrounding area. The majority live at a hostel in Kwahu Tafo. Here they sleep in a single dormitory, packed with 15 bunk beds, while some sleep on mattresses on the floor. They help to cook their meals, and maintain the hostel. The staff, at the Academy, ensure that all the children attend school during the day, before participating in training each afternoon.

During the holidays the boys go home to visit their families in villages in the surrounding area. Photographer, Nikki Rixon, visited the Academy and then followed some of the boys to a village on the edge of Lake Volta, two-and-a-half hours drive North of Mpraeso, a village called Nketepa. One of the Academy boys from that village has been selected to play in the regional team.

Many of the boys at the Kahu Tafo Village Football Academy realise it is a great honour to be at the Academy and it shows in their dedication to their training every day. The staff at the academy go the extra mile in giving the boys a leg up in life. In spite of limited resources, with institutions such as Kwahu Tafo Football Academy in existence, it is not surprising that Ghana is a force to be reckoned with in African football.

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