The Madalitso Wits Sports Academy was founded in 1993 by a member of the Twapia community, Brian. It all had started with some kicking around of a borrowed soccer ball on the streets of Twapia. Only a couple of months later some unused area in the community was transformed into a simple soccer field. Initially missing, however, was a soccer ball of their own. In order to resolve this issue, all players put together their earnings from a couple of small jobs and errands they ran and so it was possible in 1995 for the team to buy their first own soccer ball. In the same year, Brian transitioned from goal keeper to full-time volunteer coach as the team had grown by then to 30 players. Over the next years, the academy continued to grow, adding new age groups, starting the first women soccer teams in the community, and also expanding their program line-up to other sports. Something that had started small and simple quickly become a major influential sports and community organization.
During daily practice sessions approximately 80 to 100 youth and young adults attend, ranging in age from 5 to 28 years old. They engage in various different sports. Not only do these programs provide the participants with a meaningful after-school activity, it also provides a safe environment for interacting with each other as well as joint learning. Among other activities, training sessions are interspersed with health, hygienic and HIV/AIDS prevention classes.
Many of the participating children come from difficult and unstable living environments. Brian, who to this day is responsible for the academy's overall programmatic management, has therefore made it a goal for the academy to also support these participants in their educational efforts wherever needed. It is in this area of the academy that iChange entered into a cooperation agreement in 2015, supporting selected in-need students in their schooling. In addition, restricted-use donations from previous participants continue to directly support the academy's sports programs as well.