CAC’s LA Adventure
January 17th 2017. The CAC world has revolved around Los Angeles, USA over the past 10 days. For 4 days the team discussed CAC strategy at the Hawthorne Police Department who kindly allowed us to use their community room. We also covered new aspects of the CAC curriculum on the Chevrolet FC field which is managed and used by the Hawthorne PD to break down barriers between the police and local youth. It was built last year and opened by Manchester United legend Denis Irwin and Gyasi Zardes of LA Galaxy. Towards the end of the 10 days we branched out and fulfilled other commitments in the LA area:
- We ran a session with teachers from 9 different ICEF schools in the LA area (see picture above). This session focused on CAC’s educational Self-Directed Learning methodology. We demonstrated some CAC games to the group of engaged and passionate teachers which led to many fun and interactive discussions.
- Three of the CAC team (Nora Dooley, Emily Kruger and Kelly Conheeney) talked to volunteer Carrie Taylor on her radio show called Women Talking Football which airs on KaoticRadio.com. They discussed CAC’s partnership model and our ASK for Choice initiative which influences gender policy globally.
- CAC’s Chief Executive Strategist Brian Suskiewicz and ASK for Choice Strategist Nora Dooley presented at the NSCAA Convention at the LA Convention Center (see picture below). They analyzed ‘Global Coaching for Social Impact: What US Soccer Can Learn From Developing Countries’. During the convention CAC was also able to meet with many of our partners, old and new.
- Brian was also on a podcast called Youth Soccer Spotlight which is broadcast from Network Studios in LA. They welcomed Brian on to discuss CAC, our work and the work of many of the youth soccer coaches who get involved with CAC. Check out this podcast here.
While it was a very busy week for the full CAC team things don’t get quieter! Some of the team have already gone to Haiti to start our 2017 partner programs with the Haitian Initiative while others have major external meetings planned this week. More on that soon!
Getting Creative With Chevrolet
This week we have been delighted to bring our partnership with Chevrolet FC to Sudeva Sports in Delhi, India. Chevrolet recently built a full-size grass field for Sudeva. They are one of the biggest football academies in Delhi with some of the best sporting talent in the country. The new field will help Sudeva take their academy to the next level and continue their players physical and personal development. Chevrolet FC hosted an event in Delhi which brought Manchester United legend Quinton Fortune to Delhi to open the new field.
Excitement and hope are common emotions in Delhi. The sights, sounds and smells convey a sense of history, diversity, unpredictability and passion. This is constantly expressed in many ways including the incessant beeping of car horns and the mixing of innumerable spices to create delicious meals. During our time working with Sudeva we experienced these feelings on the sports field. Working with an energetic group of young men and women from Sudeva and another Delhi partner, Naz Goal, we saw their excitement in every game we played and felt their openness through high-fives, handshakes and the occasional fistbump. Most of all though we heard their belief in a community, city and country which has the ability to grow and develop into a hub for critical thinking, open-mindedness and tolerance through their words and laughter.
CAC attempts to create a space, using sport, where participants can safely discuss problems in their community and identify creative solutions to these problems. During this program, the group discussed issues such as gender equality, social inclusion and the environment (especially as the field was covered in smog after Diwali) which harm the economic and social development of their country. Towards the end of the week the young leaders were becoming adept at creating new sport for social impact games to address these issues with local youth. Following discussions with participants we prioritized our ASK for Choice female empowerment curriculum due to the troublingly high instances of discrimination against women in all walks of life in India. These games often prompted the most impactful discussions of the entire program. As Vicky, 1st team goalkeeper for Sudeva said, ‘Gender equality starts with us – ourselves, families, communities and up to our country and world.’
Thanks to Chevrolet FC, our work with Sudeva will allow their hopeful young leaders to sustainably use the new field to harness the creativity and passion of local children for social good. The safe space, energy, support and resources are there- now it is time to implement.
Where There’s Play There’s Beautiful Possibilities
June 21st 2016. For the past two weeks CAC has been working with ChildFund Korea and Chevrolet FC in Incheon, South Korea to build a sustainable pathway for using sport as a social impact tool. This culminated in the unveiling of a new Chevrolet FC pitch by Manchester United legend Gary Bailey at the ChildFund Borame Center in Incheon.
Throughout the two weeks CAC worked closely with ChildFund Korea, other local partners and coaches to ensure the new pitch could be used effectively over the coming months and years. ChildFund Korea provides safe spaces for children who have been physically and mentally abused. Teachers at the ChildFund Borame Center attended CAC training which focused on child rights, problem-solving and communication. During the two weeks we also traveled to Ulsan to work with the local ChildFund staff and help them use sport as a social impact tool. In addition, we engaged coaches from FC Incheon, a soccer academy working with many local children, and students from Incheon Universities Department of Sports and Exercise Science. Involving NGO’s, clubs and universities ensured a cross-sectoral deep impact which will reach children from various communities and backgrounds.
In South Korea children of all ages are under intense pressure from families and institutions to succeed in school. We regularly heard stories of children going to school and studying for 15 hours a day simply to keep up with their classes. This has led to incredibly fast progress for the nation which is at the forefront of design and technology. A common term in Korea is ‘pali pali’ or faster (which contrasts with a common Swahili term ‘pole pole’ or slowly!). Unfortunately this pressure has also led to an increasing number of South Korean children committing suicide. Taking a break from their studies and simply enjoying sports and play is not always an option for South Korean children. The importance of encouraging participation in sports to challenge this culture can’t be underestimated. Where there’s play, there’s beautiful possibilities.
9 Times with Chevrolet FC
June 17, 2016. Nine times. With respect to the classic line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Nine is now the number of life-altering pitches that Chevrolet FC has built in communities around the world, helping disadvantaged children to grow both socially and emotionally. Coaches Across Continents award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC just unveiled the latest community pitch, this time in Incheon, South Korea. Despite the threat of rain, the weather held out allowing for dignitaries, Chevrolet Korea, CAC, and special guest and Manchester United legend Gary Bailey have full ceremonies and turn the pitch over to the Borame center and ChildFund Korea.
This is a group that works, counsels, and houses children who have been abused, generally physically or emotionally. The power of play is now just outside their center, allowing for children to learn from our unique curriculum that is designed to educate children on issues such as Child Rights, Health & Wellness, and Conflict Prevention. As they play there children will grow both emotionally and socially.
Coaches Across Continents is proud to work with community changing initiatives with Chevrolet FC, and this one is especially rewarding because of the recipients who will benefit the most from this sustainable initiative.
CAC’s 2015: A Year In Review!
April 26th 2016. Coaches Across Continents is delighted to present our Annual Review 2015! This incredible document, developed with the Taiji Brand Group, brings our record-breaking 2015 to life. It details the highlights of our year from developing our ASK for Choice curriculum as a Clinton Global Initiative member to the inspirational work of our partners on key global days such as Peace Day. The review provides more information on some of our community partnerships which address topics such as disaster recovery in Nepal, refugees in Uganda and child rights in Brazil.
This year we are giving twenty lucky CAC supporters the chance to win an ultra-durable One World Futbol. All you have to do is read the Annual Review and complete this simple questionnaire (Hint: if you don’t know the answers you can find them in our Annual Review 2015!). Anyone who answers the questions correctly will be entered into the draw to win!
Once again here is the Annual Review 2015.
And click here for the form and a chance to win a One World Futbol.
We want to thank each and everyone of you for your ongoing support of Coaches Across Continents. We hope you enjoy reading this review as much as we enjoyed doing the work!
Organizational Transformation in Hawthorne
February 16, 2015. Our partnership with Chevrolet FC recently opened a new futsal facility in Hawthorne, California. Located in the center of town and under the supervision of the Hawthorne Police and the Parks and Recreation Department, this facility has an opportunity to create a new dynamic within the community. Throughout the United States, too often news is being made between conflict between the police and its citizens. As part of The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, communities should have the opportunity to engage with local law enforcement; participate in meetings, surveys, and other activities as well as participate in problem-solving efforts to reduce crime and improve quality of life.
One such initiative is the new soccer fields in Hawthorne. They now serve as a safe space for police officers and the communities to come together and learn from each other. For the past two weeks, Coaches Across Continents has been working with the Hawthorne Police, the local school system, and local businesses such as SpaceX so that the community leaders have the skills necessary to engage children and community members on the soccer fields to create positive relationships.
Even though the courts are only a few days old, several success stories are already emerging. One is concerning a young local girl who has had a few negative interactions with the police. One evening, a local police officer took it upon himself to stop by her house to invite her and her brothers to the new soccer fields. On opening night, she was one of the first people onto the court, playing with other children and engaging in a positive manner with the local police and other community members. It is positive interactions such as this that will help to create strong working relationships so that in future there are not difficulties between the police and the community. The safe space created by Chevrolet FC is helping this community undergo positive transformation and to hopefully serve as a model for other communities to follow.
In the coming weeks and months, we expect to hear dozens more such stories, as well as see the transformation happening within the community from both police officers and community members. We will continue to keep you updated on this great story from our continuing corporate partnership.