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GRA Soccer Partnership
Grand River Academy

Grand River Academy (GRA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with College Connect International (CCI), an Atlanta-based sports and education recruiting company that identifies then matches gifted and aspiring students and student-athletes with world-class opportunities in the USA and Canada.



GRA, a well-appointed boys college preparatory school with a proven track record of setting its students up for success in college and life beyond, has opened its doors to domestic and international students since 1831.


The CCI Soccer Residential Academy (SRA) at GRA is a truly synergetic partnership that will provide a holistic approach to soccer training – offering technical, tactical, mental development - and college guidance. The SRA student-athletes will be in a year-round (August-May) program, allowing them to participate in daily soccer-related activities. Exposure is the primary focus for residential student-athletes, with the Fall seasons affording them a traditional high-level prep, high school competitive schedule. The winter and spring seasons will feature a regional club (UPSL) competition schedule, as well as college and international scrimmages. Residential academy student-athletes will also benefit from traveling to showcases, college recruiting events across the country, as well as tournaments.


GRA Head of School Tony Tucker noted, "I'm very excited about the birth of the CCI Soccer Residential Academy and we have already seen immediate results since SRA Program Director, Alan Johnson arrived. I genuinely believe that at GRA we have the perfect cocoon to propel successful student-athletes into great universities and beyond. Matched with Thabani and his team's incredible level of professionalism and relentless pursuit of success for their students, it only made sense to open the door and create a platform to do something that will not only impact our school positively but also provide a pathway for kids across the USA and the rest of the world."


CCI, which connects students with schools and organizes USA tours for international students, has offered short-term sports camp environments across the eastern region of the USA, since 2013. These environments give the aspiring academy and college-level athletes the opportunity to play and train in the USA over an extended period of time with a view to developing, showcasing, and generating college opportunities. CCI Founder/Director, Thabani Sithole highlighted, "this has been a goal we have worked towards and look forward to working alongside GRA to create a top-tier development environment for young student-athletes. Tony and I have discussed this progression for a long time and I believe the foundation we had set through all the tours and our summer residential program provided a good testing ground to learn what we need to put in place for the success of the students."

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