“I’m fully invested in football for I think the last 12 months. There’s four of us running it full time now and we’re really trying to get it to the next level” – Jeremy Elson. It’s time you guys get to know more of Jeremy as we share a little history on the co-founder of HBUFC and how he left behind a life and memories in London, only to make so much more of it in Cape Town.
Jeremy tells a beautiful tale of how he and his wife, Phillipa, visited South Africa in 2008 (if he remembers correctly or else, he’ll be in trouble😜) for a honeymoon of their lifetime. The newlywed couple fell in love with the scenery and atmosphere and considered starting a life in South Africa, but never thought it would actually materialize. All this changed when Phillipa, being a fashion designer, was given an opportunity to work in the country. The couple thought it was a crazy idea to just up and leave their lives and responsibilities in London, but followed their hearts to be where they truly wanted, after all, they only thought they’d move to SA for a year or so. Much to their surprise, it’s nearly 16 years later and they have made an irreplaceable home for themselves and their growing family in the Hout Bay Community.
During his time in London, Jeremy used football as a means to connect people and carried this through to his work at HBUFC. Having been inspired by the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a flame was sparked within Jeremy that led to the formation of the Hout Bay United Football Community. What started as a few football games after the 2010 World Cup where community members could just grab an Algeria or Ivory Coast shirt and join a friendly game of footy began to expand until Jeremy purchased a franchise and HBUFC was born! This experience was filled with playing and learning and Jeremy found that playing football was when he truly felt that he was on a level-playing field with the rest of the Hout Bay community.
In 2014, HBUFC was afforded the opportunity to collaborate with a local high school, working with over 50 troubled youth. HBUFC managed to build extensive bonds with these children through football, which forms as one of HBUFC’s main objectives. This was when Jeremy realized the gap between how the children interacted on the field, showing positive experiences, and how they interacted off the field in their classrooms and homes, showing negative experiences. This was a turning point for Jeremy when he decided that HBUFC had an opportunity to do so much for their community, and built a football club that could deliver life skills to these youth and the community at large. HBUFC even implemented mentorship programmes that aim to uplift and upskill these individuals, giving them an opportunity for growth.
Although it was on a total whim, we are so glad that Jeremy and Philippa decided to leave their homes and begin anew in Hout Bay, Cape Town💃🏻. If not for them, we would without a doubt, not be privy to the amazing platform they’ve built that allows so many talented individuals to prosper and grow community spirit. Thanks guys, we owe you a bunch!
The HBUFC Team,
18 April 2022