"Woza." A constant, unmistakable term at the heart of the passionate Zulu soccer culture from which our organization was founded.
The inspiration for Woza Soccer materialized on a soccer field in Mtubatuba, a small rural town in the Zululand region of South Africa, where Woza is slang for “pass me the ball.” It was there that Woza Soccer Founder Chris Kaimmer, living in Mtubatuba while working for Grassroot Soccer, met Sheldon Hughes, the director of Mtuba Football Academy (MFA). MFA uses soccer as a means to provide life skills, adult support, and other resources to local Zulu youth.
The impact of MFA inspired Chris and Sheldon to dream up Woza Soccer, a travel program focused on highlighting the influence soccer has on communities around the world, and the connections made through the beautiful game.
Woza Soccer was born out of a collection of deeply positive personal experiences gained from traveling all over the world with the game of soccer in one's back pocket. It is vividly clear to our organization, and tightly entwined in our basic values, that soccer players have an incredible opportunity to use their sport to serve others and make their own travels far more meaningful. Soccer connects people in a way few other things can.
In June of 2014, Chris and Sheldon’s dream came to fruition when, as Woza’s inaugural trip, Chris took a group of 12 players to South Africa to connect with MFA in Mtubatuba and Grassroot Soccer in Cape Town. After that first summer, current Director Kate Silverman joined Chris, bringing with her seven years of leadership and work experience in the Student Travel Industry, as well as her strong passions for travel and soccer.
Growing every year, Woza Soccer has now sent 308 players to 4 countries on 3 continents to travel, connect through soccer and spread a love and appreciation for the beautiful game around the world. We invite you to join us and become part of our Woza Team!