Zobran Elias, Lilongwe’s Ascent Soccer Academy’s (formerly known as Chigoli Academy), has earned a fantastic three-year scholarship to one of America’s best academic and soccer institutions, the Taft School of Connecticut.
Elias was the first player to graduate a training programme by Chigoli Football Academy, which has since rebranded to Ascent Soccer in February 2019.
He went on a scholarship to America in August last year where he has excelled both in the classroom and on the football pitch. This success has earned him the prestigious ‘Davis Scholarship’ which is awarded to only one male and one female international applicant to Taft each year.
“The three-year scholarship, worth around K187.2 million (US$260,000) in tuition fees, also covers a part contribution at some of America’s top universities for four years, creating an incredible opportunity to not only reach new heights academically, but keep the option of professional football on the table with potential options into the MLS in the US through the draft system,” said the Academy’s founder, George Maguire.
“Zobran has exceeded our expectations, to relocate to the US and excel shows a young man of character, determination, and ability – exactly the kind of young person we exist to create.
“His story highlights how much youth talent there is here in Malawi and what can happen if that talent is nurtured correctly. We are proud of Zobran and have other players on a variety of pathways, some in education, some in soccer that will shine this year, acting as an inspiration to other children in the country whilst the rest of the Academy aims to benefit Malawi’s national youth time.”
In February, Maguire was honoured with Malawi Sport’s 2019 Non-Citizen of the Year award, honoring his outstanding contributions to the development of sports in the country.
The accolade illustrates the immense respect and admiration Ascent has garnered domestically over the last four years for responsibly supporting players and communities.
Zobran joined Ascent Soccer Academy in 2016, training with some of the best youth Malawian players, identified from all over the country. Since 2015, Ascent has assessed 25,000 youth players and selected an Academy of 65 built of 3 male squads and one female.
Ascent provides private education, advanced soccer coaching, character development and nutritional/medical support for its players.
In July last year, Ascent players scored half of Malawi’s goals at Under-17 COSAFA in Mauritius and Ascents U-17’s broke goal-scoring records by winning the Presidential Under-17 League in Lilongwe with the youngest team in the league, netting 110 times in 30 games.
This year Ascent embarks on nationwide scouting between April and August to build a Under-12 male squad whilst completing a female squad at Under-17.
Currently, within the Academy are players from Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Dedza, Cape Maclear, Balaka, Blantyre and Zomba.
Meanwhile, Ascent Soccer says two film students from Loyola Marymount University in California spent their spring break with academy, recording promotional content, player profiles, match action, drone shots, and Malawi’s breathtaking nature.
“In the coming weeks, they will compile the footage into compelling videos, enabling us to share the Ascent story and vision more broadly,” Maguire said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :