Emerald Foundation's Values

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Anything is possible. We are the creators of our reality. We may feel bound by life circumstances and challenges or feel lost in the great forces of life that overwhelm us like a small ship in a stormy sea. Yet, when we can shift paradigms, to change our fixed mindsets, we discover that we can achieve anything.

The Emerald Foundation was established by John McGrath in 2018 in Mbekweni, outside of Paarl. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation aims to uplift South African youths physically, emotionally and spiritually through the medium of sport. It aims to disrupt fixed mindsets and limiting beliefs, and instead, encourage growth mindsets and the ability to transform obstacles into opportunities.

John has worked with numerous international athletes and teams at a world-class level in ten different sporting codes and he is the co-owner of FitLife gym, based in Paarl.

John was inspired to start the Foundation after he began working closely with long-jump silver medallist Luvo Manyonga in 2013. He recognized the enormous, untapped talent and potential in South African youths and desired to be the change in the world. And so, the Foundation was born – a space for nurturing potential and encouraging greatness, in the places it is most needed.

Our Vision

Our vision is to explore and expand human awareness through sports, respecting culture and religion: to inspire people to become purposeful masters of themselves and dedicated, inspired leaders of others into a fulfilled wellbeing.


Our Mission

Our mission is to provide safe, clean, inclusive facilities and services for the community. Through intramural programs, sports, and a variety of fitness services, we help the community develop healthy habits, personal fitness, and sportsmanship. These programs help develop physical fitness, reduce stress and promote a positive use of leisure time, appreciation for the environment and interpersonal skills.