The equivalent to the youth system of our greater teams is the K4Life Academy, where young
people receive the equivalent to secondary school education. Out from the streets, drugs, and
discrimination, many of them learn for the first time the value of sharing group values by being
part of a football team. Students have a mentor who studies the conditions of the house they live
in, their nutrition, their behaviour and if they are subjected to situations of violence. Sport is key
to provide them with resources that allow them to function in society, have faith in themselves,
know how to interact with others and protect themselves. This protection includes taking action
on AIDS or having it treated once they have contracted it -something very usual, 23% of Lesotho
population has it. Besides, they receive formal education in language and mathematical skills,
since the objective is to provide them with a curriculum with which they can have access to a job
position, without prejudice to the fact that the outstanding ones end up being part of the first team. Actually, the Standard Lesotho Bank, main sponsor, has incorporated many of them as part of their personnel.
An Unconventional Measure of Success
KICK4LIFE does not measure its triumphs with cups or trophies, but with the 250,000 kids that
have been trained at its institute since 2005, gaining social skills through sport and education. One
of its last initiatives was to allocate the same budget to the first male and female team. As Steve
Fleming, one of its founders, states “as a club dedicated to social change, it would not make sense
if we gave more opportunities to men than to women; we believe this change in football will be
reflected in all aspects of life – home, schools, personal relationships and working environment”.
With the same ambition that characterises this sport, the club claims that with this measure, they
hope to influence professional football all over the world.