Phoenix Sports Academy is a Helderberg non-profit organisation that was founded in 2018 by Illona and Tashai Simons.
Their mission is a consistent and sustainable sports development programme, offering children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to participate in recreational and competitive team sports, while contributing to the overall wellbeing of the community.
Illona, having grown up in Broadlands Park, recognised the need for a safe space for children to play.
She dreamt of a place where children could seek respite from their community – where alcohol, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and crime, forces them to grow up very quickly.
To date, Phoenix has provided much more than just sporting opportunities; it has held clothing drives, Christmas present drives, feeding schemes (feeding approximately 800 children on a regular basis), and more.
On Mandela Day, Saturday July 18, Phoenix Sports Academy fed almost 3 000 hungry children and adults with the help of partners, sponsors and volunteers; all five feeding stations were headed up by passionate community residents – Claudine Tobie (Casa Blanca), Jenny Brett (Broadlands Park station 1), Lameez McPherson (Broadlands Park station 2), Frank Hendricks (Gustrouw) and Lana Endersby (Sir Lowry’s Pass).
“The active support of residents is one of the things that makes Phoenix so special,” says volunteer, Heather Ferguson.
“Thank you to Woodstock Brewery, Rise Against Hunger, Beachcomber Tours and Stones Visuals for their ongoing support – together we are stronger, together we rise,” says Ms Ferguson.
Future plans for Phoenix Sports Academy include finding additional sponsors, and starting a Sustainable Community Garden project.
For more information visit their Facebook page or contact 071 592 0208.