Celebrating Successes and Constantly Improving
January 11th 2017. CAC strives to improve every day. During our meetings this week at Hawthorne Police Department in Los Angeles we are reflecting on the successes of 2016 and discussing how we continue to be an organization which provides year-round educational consultancy and mentorship to create social impact through sport. Over the past day our meetings have included extensive sessions on:
- Monitoring and Evaluation in every aspect of CAC’s work
- Online Education Program and the use of technology in our partnerships
- How to develop our year-round resources offered to all of our partners
- The Self-Directed Learning methodology and how it applies to each partnership
- The progress and development of the Community Impact Coach initiative
- Our ongoing use of social media and this website!
CAC is adept at working in many sectors. Alongside more meetings this week we will also be presenting at the NSCAA convention, running a session for public school teachers in LA, talking on a radio show and working with the Hawthorne Police Department to engage children in Hawthorne. We are delighted to continue to build our productive partnership with the Hawthorne PD who have been very kind to allow us to use their meeting space.
August 10th 2016: Volunteer Lea Hinnen shares an emotional story from her time On-Field with CAC ASK for Choice partner training4changeS based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This program was supported by the Games 4 Good Foundation. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals involved.
In my last six weeks of volunteering with Coaches Across Continents I have heard so many stories. Crazy stories, sad stories, amazing stories and sometimes even funny stories. I’ve heard stories from participants and children stories of gangsters and gangs, orphans, discrimination and the lives in poverty. But no stories would get to me like the stories of rape.
In our second week with training4changeS we were located in the Football for Hope Center in Khayelitsha. We ran an ASK for Choice program with the male t4c staff and women from t4c partner organizations. It was a smaller group than planned, which ended up being the best thing that could have happened – and that proved on the very last day.
The participants prepared discussions they find important to address within their communities. One of them ended up being the issue of rape within the townships and all over South Africa. And that’s where the stories began…One of our female participants, let’s call her Nare, shares the story of when she was about 12 years old. She grew up in Khayelitsha and had a best friend, let’s call her Sara. Sara and Nare were like sisters. One day, however, Sara suddenly put her hand under her friend’s skirt… Nare was confused, didn’t quite know what was going on and asked Sara what she was doing. Sara said it was ‘normal’, her stepfather would do things like that to her all the time, he would even sleep with her. ‘That’s rape, Sara! He cannot and should not do that to you!’, protests Nare.
She tells her mother, who called social workers and Sara’s family. The stepfather denied he ever touched Sara, told everyone they were just two little girls making up stupid stories. Nothing happens and the abuse and rape goes on. Until one day Nare goes over to Sara’s place where no one answers the door. Nare hears Sara whimper and decides to burst into the house: She finds the stepfather on top of her best friend, in the middle of raping her. She cries, tries to get him off her, but he just threatens her in response: ‘When I’m done with her, you will be next!’ – that’s when Nare takes the knife and stabs him, grabs Sara by the hand and they run off.
Fast-forward a couple of months: Sara’s stepfather survived and ended up in jail for some time. When he gets released, he goes back to the house, rapes Sara and kills her. End of story.
Everyone is quiet. Nare is not the only one around the table struggling to hold back the tears – me and some other participants are right there with her. No one knows what to say. Everyone knows that there are too many stories like hers out there. Then Keke, a male t4c coach takes parole: ‘We as coaches can make a difference here. We have the responsibility to address that with our young, male players. We have to try to change this ‘boy-talk-culture’: A guy has two or more girls at the same time: everyone applauds. A guy says he didn’t use a condom: everyone applauds. A guy rapes a girl: everyone applauds. We, as coaches, as leaders, we can stop this. We can show them that these things are nothing to applaud for. Nothing any decent man should be proud of. We can make a difference here, and we have to.”
So I want to thank you, Keke, for turning the moment of a terribly sad story into a new, amazing story. And thank you for creating the chance to improve the stories of so many people we encounter everyday.
Sport Session Planner Win!
July 29th 2016. We are delighted to announce that Sport Session Planner has won the CSR/Cause Marketing partnership with Coaches Across Continents, valued at $37,000! This competition, which has been open for the past 2 months was incredibly popular however Sport Session Planner were the lucky winners after answering every question about CAC and our Annual Review 2015 correctly and being drawn out of the hat of eligible entrants. Sport Session Planner is a leading sports software company, based in the UK, with sales offices located throughout the world. Formed in 2011 by sports coaches and world class IT specialists, with over 20 years experience, they have grown to be recognized as one of the worlds leading sports software providers, with thousands of users around the globe.
As part of this partnership Sport Session Planner will receive a bespoke package of CSR/Cause Marketing support over the next year which will be designed, developed and implemented in collaboration with CAC. It will include naming rights for a Coaches Across Continents program in a location of their choice, brand storytelling and partnership promotion among many other things. This will help Sport Session Planner achieve their cause marketing objectives, deliver on their CSR commitments and maximize the return on their social investments.
Thanks very much to everyone who entered this competition. We appreciate your ongoing engagement with Coaches Across Continents.
Online Education Program Runs Across 4 Continents
April 22nd 2016. In December 2015 twelve participants successfully graduated from the first worldwide Online Education Program (OEP) in Sport for Social Impact. Coaches Across Continents (CAC) was delighted to certify these participants who invested 160 hours each during this 9-month course. The coaches are now qualified to use online technology, including Sport Session Planner (SSP), Skype, and email. Through these skills they are now further impacting children and youth locally and globally by sharing games through the online platform SSP. In 2015 the participants represented 7 different countries on the Asian and African continent.
This year in March the 2nd year of our Online Education Program started. After the exciting first year we wanted it to grow and give more people the chance to learn using modern technology. We sent the invitation out and within two weeks we received 60 applications. We have been overwhelmed by this high interest. The applicants underwent a very competitive selection process whereby at the end 30 participants were accepted.
The initial idea of starting an Online Education Program in Sport for Social Impact was that we wanted to offer trainings to coaches that were not able to receive On-Field training with CAC; usually because the safety situation in their community would not allow us to run a program in that particular place. Therefore we are particularly delighted to have 6 participants on the program this year that have never received CAC On-Field training before. Some of the countries that are represented by these coaches are South Sudan, Armenia and India. Looking at all the participants we have coaches from 17 different countries located on 4 different continents: Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. Please have a look at the map below to see that the OEP in its 2nd year has already become a global initiative. The markers represent the locations of all the participants in the 2nd year of CAC’s Online Education Program.
Our vision for the future of the OEP reflects the idea of being able to run a complete On-Field program without being physically present. Let’s see if we can make that happen for 2017. For now we wish our current participants good luck and lots of fun for this year’s program. Let us grow the network of people who have skills to use Sport and Technology as a tool to impact their communities.
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Soccer Is More Than A Game
It was a long journey from Nairobi to Kampala. I left Nairobi on Friday at 7.30pm only to arrive in Kampala at 10am the next morning. This was my second time in Kampala, but it was my first time traveling internationally with Coaches Across Continents to teach games to coaches. It was an exciting week in Kampala since it meant meeting coaches who were welcoming and eager to learn. Some of them traveled from far to the training venue, only to be part of the training in a dusty field, under the hot sun. Their commitment and hard work really inspired me. I also got a chance to visit the Kampala based CAC partner organization Soccer Without Borders .The organization works in the Nsambya neighborhood of Kampala. Through soccer and educational programming, SWB creates a space for urban refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, and Somalia to integrate with their Ugandan peers.
As a CAC Community Impact Coach (CIC) I had the opportunity to engage with more than 20 community coaches who are leading incredible organizations and soccer teams making a difference through sport. Being a CAC Community Impact Coach has really influenced my personal journey in life. What I think makes soccer so incredible is its potential to help change the world outside of professional leagues and international tournaments. Also Coaches Across Continents brings out the picture clearly with the games that we learn, adapt and create. CAC helps grow the game by creating a platform for us to be more creative and come up with games that directly impacts our own communities and the rest of the world.
I felt happier when on one of the training days I got a chance to play a game I had created. It was my highlight of the week and I thank Coaches Across Continents for their Online Education Program that has really shaped me as a CIC and the first hand experience I have gained from working alongside many CAC teams. Football has provided me the self discipline, leadership skills and confidence that continue to shape my life on and off the field. I feel fortunate to be a Community Impact Coach in Kampala. With this role I have been able recognize the power of sport to make a difference, and would like to be defined not only by my knowledge, but by my ability to bring out the best in every partner organization I go to. It is our duty to attempt to make the world a better place than it was when we found it. To realize this dream many of us are happy to go through endless hours of traveling and personal sacrifice. I love soccer but the side of the sport that I love most is one in which success isn’t defined by goals or medals, but instead by community impact and social change.
VLC Launches with Great Success
January 28, 2016. Coaches Across Continents latest strategic resource launched with great success this past Tuesday. The Virtual Learning Community (VLC) is a series of monthly webinars that focus on key topics and issues that will specifically benefit sport for social impact organizations and individuals all over the world. The first webinar, which was offered at two different times during the day to accommodate our partners across all time zones, had participants from five continents: South America, North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Though our partnerships, over 500,000 children will be impacted from the increased knowledge, organizational development, and sport for social impact education provided through our partner organizations and coaches.
The Virtual Learning Community is hosted by CAC on the Edudip platform. This allows for group interaction of hundreds of participants at any one time, including video interface, presentation displays, and whiteboard capabilities. In addition, during the inaugural VLC webinar CAC took the opportunity to release two new short documentaries. These world premier video shorts outline our Hat-Trick Initiative and our Chance to Choice partnership pathways. The webinar wrapped up with a Question and Answer session that greatly outweighed our expectations with dozens of questions on individuals and groups looking to increase their knowledge. Most notably three new groups expressed strong interest in our ASK for Chance pathway which is part of our commitment to action through the Clinton Global Initiative as well as personal inquiries into our Community Impact Coach Program and our Online Education Program.
At Coaches Across Continents we focus all our partnerships on developing unique pathways, using our strategic resources. The goal is to mentor community partners in organizational development and sport for social impact education. The VLC is a tremendous tool that will allow us to increase both the scope of our reach as well as improve the depth of each partnership. With strong joint communication, our partnerships will develop 365 days a year, impacting hundreds of thousands of children’s lives through tens of thousands of coaches in our 30+ countries. We are building a true network among sport for development organizations.
In the coming weeks and months, the VLC will continue to expand to include interested sport for development organizations in places where we have not yet been able to operate due to safety reasons such as groups that are operating in conflict zones or war-torn areas. It will also allow us to serve organizations who, due to financial constraints, we have not officially partnered with as the demand for CAC partnerships far outweighs our capacity. Presently we have requests from nearly 400 organizations in 85 countries to work with CAC as a full Hat-Trick Initiative partner.
The VLC joins other CAC strategic resources such as our year-round mentorship, CIC program, Online Education Program, curriculum development, On-Field training, joint funding opportunities, and much more. Each community partner now has the ability to create their own unique pathway from our strategic resources to best serve the needs of their own organization and community. For more information on the VLC, please email us at