Coaches Across Continents Announces Green Kenya As An Accredited Organization
Nick Gates & Brian Suskiewicz discuss their journey into business with The Drive Phase Podcast
In April, CEO Nick Gates and Chief Strategist Brian Suskiewicz, sat down with James Moore on The Drive Phase podcast to discuss their individual backgrounds and their personal roads to creating Coaches across Continents. The podcast, produced by Coordinate Sport, is aimed at highlighting the unique journeys and diverse careers in sports and sports entrepreneurship.
James Moore, the host of The Drive Phase podcast looks in depth at the growth of Coaches Across Continents, from one country in 2008 to 6 continents, running education programs in up to 132 countries. CEO Nick Gates goes on to say:
“We now have four main divisions, working with teachers, educators, organisations,
corporations and governments and the demand keeps growing.”
Delving into his background, CEO Nick Gates had already felt that sport could do more when he put on his backpack for a 23-month trip around 40 countries. Not only did he gain first- hand experience of the Winter Olympics and The Ashes to name a few, but he found a passion for how sport could indeed, change the world.
No stranger to the world of business, he decided that instead of returning to a life of suits and ties, he would use his wider experience of business to form an organisation that would use sport as a pathway to making a change in people’s lives. When he met Brian Suskiewicz, Nick jokingly nicknames the “two-sport athlete”, he was an experienced university sports coach in the US with a passion for sports and education.
Despite intending to become a teacher, the opportunity to travel and work in sport was too enticing of a proposition for Brian. He made the leap to volunteer with the organisation, making his first volunteer trip with CAC to South Africa. With the actions of sport on and off the pitch under the spotlight, both Brian and Nick strongly believe in their own concept of Corporate Social Purpose. Whilst seeing the power of sport to bring change, Brian adds that there must be focus to the initiatives.
“I think it’s about getting people to understand that’s it is not just about getting in a circle and rolling out a ball, the very serious aspect is the community and individual development features, and it should be taken as such.”
The main focus for James, host and Managing Director of Coordinate Sport is to showcase extraordinary stories in the industry. He added:
“All organisations want to stay in the drive phase for as long as possible and continually grow and develop. This podcast is focused on connecting with and showcasing these industry thought leaders, Nick and Brian are a great example of this with so much knowledge and insight to share with our network of leaders”
What does it take to build a legacy of development through sport across six continents? Find out how on The Drive Phase podcast. Available on The Coordinate Sport website, Google
Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube.
Indochina Starfish Foundation of Cambodia Accredited by Coaches Across Continents
CAC has worked alongside ISF staff, coaches and young leaders since 2013. We have seen first-hand their growth when it comes to integrating play-based activities with key social and educational learning methodologies. Many ISF coaches have joined the CAC team over the years to facilitate Purposeful Play trainings for other leaders in communities beyond the ISF home in Phnom Penh. And after several years of learning and evolving together in partnership we are delighted to present ISF as a CAC accredited organization in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
CAC SAFE Initiative to Impact Organisations Globally
CAC SAFE is our Child Safeguarding Education Program, the only global child protection program that works on five levels: Child, Coach, Organization, Community and Social Media SAFE.
CAC’s Impact Team delivered our SAFE resource to 96 partners; That is 4,253 youth leaders, educators and coaches across the world working with over 1.4 million children.
Our CAC Impact and Instruct Team delivered two aspects of CAC SAFE in February: Coach SAFE and Organization SAFE. Our team of experts worked with 96 of our partner organizations to create, review, or revise their organizational child protection policies as well as developing and training their coaches in best SAFE practices. Coaches Across Continents wants to ensure a culture of child protection in all of our partner organizations in order to protect the 2.7+ million children that engage in Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom programming.
Throughout 2021 our partner organizations will have the opportunity to go through the other three levels of SAFE including Child, Community, and Social Media SAFE.
Effective Safeguarding empowers children to know their rights, educates coaches to create ‘safe spaces’, influences all levels of the organization, and engages communities.
To learn more about our SAFE program please click here.
Coaches Across Continents launches “Step Up – Career Development” for Professional Female Athletes
Years of participation in competitive sports not only shape athletes bodies, but, just as much, their character, their social, emotional and organizational skills. Athletes tend to be team players, self-organized people of high resilience, drive and adaptability. They are leaders and hard workers. They are, in other words, everything an employer should be looking for in their recruiting.
Yet, former (semi-)professional athletes often struggle to gain a foothold in the job market. Due to the prior dedication to their sport, their resumes lack the one thing recruiters tend to often narrowly focus on – work experience. Female athletes, often lacking the financial security their male counterparts enjoy, find themselves at a particularly strong disadvantage.
At Coaches Across Continents we believe in the extraordinary potential of female athletes to succeed in their post-sports career. Coaches Across Continents has a long tradition of working with active and retired professional and collegiate athletes and our trust in these women has been rewarded with invaluable contributions to our work and additions to our core team.
This past fall, three of these women decided it was about time Coaches Across Continents took action to extend support to a wider pool of female athletes – to boost their resume with work experience, professional skills, international travel and social engagement. The idea for STEP UP Career Development was born.
Now, three months later, we have developed the idea into a coherent project. With the advice of partner organizations and with the support of new team member, WSL Bristol City and Welsh International Player Megan Wynne, STEP UP has taken shape and currently being piloted with Megan herself and Megan Mackey of Harvard Women Soccer, Lewes FC and Republic Of Ireland International.
“The Step-Up Development program has been a great experience for me so far. The flexibility of the program has allowed me to fit it around my current training schedule, which is particularly important as a professional athlete. Throughout the program, not only have I been involved in several exciting projects, but I have also been given the opportunity to have an impact on those projects. The responsibility and tasks I have been given have helped me to develop key skills that will prepare me for life in the working world once I finish playing. I am grateful to CAC for giving me this chance and I would recommend it to any athlete, who wants to gain real life experience in an organization that is making a difference.” -Megan Wynne
“I first came to know about the step up programme through Nick Gates coming to speak to the Harvard Women’s soccer team. It sounded like a great way to gain vital professional experience whilst continuing to play soccer and he wasn’t wrong. The programme has allowed me to develop my critical thinking as well as refine the communication and teamwork skills I had already gained through playing soccer. Can’t wait to continue the journey at Coaches Across Continents” -Megan Mackey
Step Up is a professional development program for professional or collegiate athletes. Combining a customizable mix of learning modules with hands-on project-based work with Coaches Across Continents, Step Up will help female athletes to kickstart their post-sports career. Crucially, it is designed flexibly to adapt to athletes’ busy, and often unpredictable schedules.
In the long run, we are hoping to push for a threefold change with Step Up:
4. We want to provide an alternative to the career in the corporate world, encouraging talented young women to choose social impact and international development.
We want to be the next step for more strong women getting a chance to demonstrate their abilities in working together for a better world.
Niñas Sin Miedo: the first CAC Accredited Organization of 2021
Based in Soacha and Bogotá, Colombia, Niñas Sin Miedo (NSM) is a female-led organization serving girls and young women from underserved communities. Using the bicycle as their central tool, they provide opportunities for girls to learn and express their voices, their ideas and their power. They focus on supporting the girls to address specific challenges and issues like sexual and reproductive health and rights, and they provide endless opportunities for the girls to play and take ownership of their learning and development.
We have partnered with NSM since 2017 and it has been a privilege to witness and support their evolution. They are one of the most socially-conscious organizations in the world and our global network has the honor of learning and sharing with these incredible women. One of the NSM coordinators was a Michael Johnson Young Leader in 2018 and then later traveled alongside CAC to deliver on-field Education Outside the Classroom trainings all over Colombia.
On this International Women’s Day 2021, there are few groups who embody the #ChooseToChallenge theme like Niñas Sin Miedo. We are thrilled to announce Niñas Sin Miedo as an accredited organization in using Purposeful Play to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.