Where sport and fitness meet education

The Dome Academies offers various programmes and a national fitness certificate that offers holistic development and creates platforms for young individuals to succeed.

26 January 2021 | Sports

Mariselle Stofberg

The Dome Academies is a unique training academy in Swakopmund that offers sport education and specialised entrepreneurship and adventure training and life skills education.

The academy was created at The Dome centre and has deployed their sports and fitness specialists and upgraded the facility into an elite sports academia.

“To equip people for the challenges and stressors of life and to develop them into well-functioning individuals, The Dome brought in specialists to start the School of Life. We already have a handful of Olympic qualifying athletes training at the Dome daily and in addition to this, we kicked off the Dome Gap Year programme to guide young school leavers to be successful in all spheres of life,” says Lourens van Wyk, the director of the Dome Academies.

“On the one hand, we sit with the most amazing setup at the Dome, dripping with untapped potential. The Dome is currently the most advanced platform for sports development in southern Africa. It purposefully designed as an Olympic standard sports facility and houses a hotel, restaurants, a massive inhouse sports complex, an Olympic standard gym, swimming pool, lecture rooms and auditorium, a spa and offices. Since the inception of the Dome half a decade ago, the Dome houses 15 sports teams. In addition, we have professional coaches and trainers,” Van Wyk adds.

“In Namibia we have the dire need of young people to have a positive future. Under the lockdown, we became aware of the despair people have about the future; what we call the devastating pandemic of hopelessness. In Namibia, the reality is that employment opportunities are extremely limited, so we contracted experts and started the Entrepreneurs Factory where we produce people who can start their own businesses and create their own income,” he further says.

Van Wyk says that the purpose of the Dome Academies is to serve and make a difference in Namibia and in Africa.

The academy also offers a National Certificate in Fitness and the Gap Year 2021 programme.

“The National Fitness Certificate is a well sought-after qualification and is a must for anyone who aspires to have a successful career in the field of fitness development. The programme is accredited by FitPro and the qualification is recognised internationally. Its stretches over ten months and includes a theoretical and a practical part. This is a stand-alone course, but gap year students have access to enrol in this programme. In addition, students can do portions of this programme and sub-qualify as a fitness trainer or personal trainer,” Van Wyk says.

“Traditionally, a gap year is taken to travel abroad, do voluntary work, or enter learnership opportunities and it is undoubtably beneficial to gain new perspectives and insights. The Gap Year programme at the Dome is a much more purposeful approach to optimally prepare school leavers for adult life. It is a holistic approach run by professionals. At the same time, the programme ensures that there is more than enough fun, excitement, and adventure,” he says.

“The programme stands on five pillars, i.e. entrepreneurial skills development, various vocational learnerships, sport and fitness, adventure excursions, and life coaching,” Van Wyk adds.

Gap Year 2021 programme

The first phase of the programme aims at equipping students with basic understanding and skills through entrepreneurial thinking, life coaching, sport and fitness, career guidance and adventure excursions. At the end of this phase, the student has a spectrum of career/ vocational options to choose from to fill the rest of his gap year.

The second phase places a stronger emphasis on preparing the student for a career. “The student chooses to pursue a vocational interest such as entrepreneurial, sport and fitness, hospitality or digital marketing, and follows a learnership for his/her own development. The student receives qualification certificates for various accredited courses/ learnerships. In addition, the wide spectrum of experiences helps to populate his/her first CV. At the Dome, we live by core values rather than by sets of rules. These values apply to everyone – from CEO to cleaner, and from coaches to students,” Van Wyk says.

Their core values include equal value, authenticity, ownership and serving.

Requirements for prospective students

The only requirement needed to enrol is the desire to live successfully and the willingness to learn. Anyone between 16 and 25 who believes that they can benefit from the programme is encouraged to join.

“Sports is a character builder. It teaches self-discipline and allows someone to discover the ‘I can’ and breeds perseverance. Physical fitness, on the other hand, contributes to a sense of bell-being and emotional toughness. To feel energetic and being in shape makes one feel good about him/herself,” Van Wyk adds.

He believes it is imperative to advance sports education if one wants to leverage individual, community, and national development in the country.

“It has been proven globally, that achieving one’s full potential as a young adult requires an effort which involves the total person. Sustainable personal growth requires a holistic approach to education and at The Dome that is possible,” Van Wyk concludes.

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