Toolkit: Reduce Carbon Footprint Through Play
In early 2022 Coaches Across Continents was proud to announce our partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children on an initiative that will provide positive climate action for the entire Sport for Development sector.
Now, we are delighted to share our 10 game play-based toolkit which will help organisations and coaches educate their beneficiaries about each of UN ACT Now’s ten actionable items individuals may utilize to reduce their carbon footprint. The toolkit is available in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Swahili & Spanish) with links below.
Each activity is animated, has a video example and is available through smartphones, We anticipate this curriculum to be utilized by thousands of organizations on all six continents, educating millions of children and creating the first large-scale effort by the sport for development sector to collectively reduce our impact on the planet. Over the past 12 months the curriculum has been piloted by our partners Green-Kenya in Nairobi who have educated over 1,000 children in these principles.
All we ask is to please complete this short form so we can fully report everyone who has accessed the toolkit.
Playing With A Purpose
CAC leaders Saraswati Negi and Nandini Vijay Kumar recently traveled to Bangladesh to work with coaches and youth leaders from our partners Sports for Hope and Independence. Here Nandini writes about that experience.
PLAY…… the word that always puts a smile on everyone’s face irrespective of age, caste, socio economic background and region. So when we say Purposeful Play it is a mixed reaction of both joy and confusion, joy because it is play but the confusion is how can it be purposeful. So then what is Purposeful Play? As the name suggests, play with a purpose. We at CAC believe that play should be meaningful and our participants should learn through our Self-Directed Learning methodology. We use play as a tool to help our coaches/ participants address social issues and life skills, which helps them better connect to real life situations.
What better way then to interact with young coaches and youth leaders of Sports for Hope and Independence, Bangladesh than through Purposeful Play as we did recently.
An introduction to the Play Based Methodology, Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom opened the minds of these young leaders who will go back to their communities and work with children, adolescents and youth.
At the onset we observed the participants were confused about how we can connect sport/games to life but the next day after experiencing real life situations on field they were able to make these connections very well. As we follow the 80:20 play: discussion method we found that participants express themselves more confidently and were able to recognize challenges in their communities and they were able to come up with different solutions to the same challenge. The coaches experienced the joy of playing and understood the importance of including play in their everyday training sessions.
Gender inequality is one of the biggest challenges that any community faces especially communities in South Asia that are Patriarchal over generations and these traditions are considered normal here. Cultural norms and restrictions curtail girls/women from stepping out, voicing out and moving forward toward their own betterment. The Purposeful Play methodology helped these young coaches identify cultural and natural differences between boys and girls/ men and women.
Every developing or underdeveloped country is working toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and through our Purposeful Play we helped the coaches understand the meaning of sustainability and how education and sport need to go hand in hand to achieve sustainability. Purposeful Play focuses on SDG4: Quality Education where we help our participants redefine success and help them differentiate between Chance and Choice, cheating and making mistakes and learning from their mistakes and from one another which is Self-Directed Learning. As a coach what better education can one give than to help them understand that it is OK to make mistakes as long as they learn from them and do not keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
A coach should be one who can create a safe space for his/her participants to be able to express themselves freely and not judge them based on their caste, religion, community, socio economic background or their experiences. A coach is not all knowing there should not be any hierarchy and they should be willing to listen to their participants, be one among them and be open to learning from them as well.
Messages like these when spoken can be very heavy for one to handle and he/she might not be able to understand the concept clearly but we have created an experiential learning environment where we address these through games/play so once they experienced the situations they were able to connect faster.
Mariah Lee Reflects on Trip to the DRC
Step Up Athlete and professional soccer player, Mariah Lee, talks about her first on-field experience with CAC, advancing gender equality in the DRC.
I have just returned home after spending two weeks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While I have been a part of the Choice For Women team for more than a year now, this was my first on-field experience with CAC. For the majority of my time in the DRC, I led trainings on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention at the Malaika Community Center in Kalebuka as part of a global initiative with EngenderHealth to address UN SDG 5: Gender Equality.
In other words, I used Purposeful Play (i.e., sport/games/play) to teach community leaders about SRHR and GBV Prevention. They will go on to lead sessions in their communities, impacting hundreds of youth across the DRC. Elvis, head of the Malaika Community Center and long-time CAC accredited coach spearheaded the sessions, and together we graduated more than 40 leaders over the course of one week.
Reading and hearing about what CAC does is one thing, but experiencing it firsthand is entirely different. There is something really powerful about experiential learning and using play to spark dialogue and introduce concepts. This could look like a game of tag where taggers represent a sexually transmitted disease and the safe area represents a condom. This could also be a game of soccer or handball where scoring a goal symbolizes pregnancy and goalkeepers symbolize different types of contraception. Each game is designed to stimulate discussion and incorporate participants’ ideas and solutions.
You might think adults wouldn’t be that excited to get outside and play games all day, but the folks we worked with were incredibly enthusiastic! Our cohort had so much energy– we danced and chanted and laughed together every day. We had our share of serious moments, too. During the week we touched on topics such as reproduction, family planning, contraception, HIV/STI protection, reproductive rights, stereotyping, inclusion, opportunity, power dynamics, and safe choices. For many participants, this was their first time broaching some of these subjects.
Fortunately, we were able to create a safe environment where participants were able to ask questions about stereotypically taboo topics. I was able to correct misconceptions participants held about reproduction, contraception, and female athletes. Interestingly enough, the men in our cohort were more accepting of women in sport, and it was the women who were more apprehensive. Most of the women had played soccer when they were younger but eventually stopped because of pressure from their community. They were told playing soccer would make them become infertile, turn into a boy, lose their virginity, lose their breasts, etc. I gladly busted those myths!
Outside of our SRHR and GBV Prevention trainings, I spent the majority of my time running soccer sessions with coaches and players– including girls from the Malaika School and boys from the surrounding community. In the DRC there is no public education. Parents either have to come up with the money for school fees or their children sit at home all day– or for many– at the local football pitch. I coached many boys who had little to no formal education, where football is one of the few pathways to a better life. Malaika is a tuition-free private school for girls founded by international supermodel Noella Coursaris Munsunka. Noella, who is Congolese and Cypriot was born in the DRC, but raised in the UK after her father died. Noella’s mother, like most Congolese women, had no education and could not support her. This reality fueled Noella’s desire to create opportunities for girls and women in her home country.
E-meeting Noella and being welcomed by the administrators at Malaika was incredibly inspiring and further cemented my passion for empowering Black girls. Being able to impact the girls and women of the Kalebuka community is something I will never forget!
The 1st Ever HeadSAFE Project
Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is delighted to be a 2022 FIFA Foundation Community Programme-supported organisation! Together with our partners training4changeS, Head for Change, Sport Session Planner, and Rezzil we will be delivering the 1st ever project promoting safe heading in football. The biggest threat to Child Safety in football programming is heading the ball. A recent study in the UK showed that footballers were 3.5 times more likely to suffer neurodegenerative disease than the general population. The English FA has banned heading for under 12’s in training and are piloting a ban in games. The professional game has just instructed that players do no more than 10 high impact headers per week. Last year Head for Change hosted the first football match which banned heading at Spennymoor FC. Now more than ever, it is vital that all participants in football are aware of the potential impact of heading on long-term neurology.
CAC and Head for Change is proud to be at the forefront of this work. We recently met with England football legend Kevin Keegan to talk about HeadSAFE and the solutions to this upsetting problem. A number of Kevin’s teammates have been diagnosed with neurodegenerative disease. In addition, it has been widely documented that many members of the England 1966 World Cup winning team, including Ray Wilson, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton, Bobby Charlton, and Nobby Stiles, have been affected by dementia in recent years.
In response to this critical issue CAC and our partners are piloting an educational project which will promote safe heading throughout the sport. CAC have designed a unique play-based curriculum, using the Sport Session Planner platform, which ensures youth leaders have the tools to discuss vital messages around heading, brain development and hydration with their participants. The curriculum is consistent while being adaptable for the specific challenges facing a diverse range of communities globally. CAC have trained training4changeS leaders in Stellenbosch, South Africa in the curriculum so they can effectively deliver HeadSAFE in their 2022 youth programming weekly. In addition, we have provided training4changeS with a virtual reality headset which utilise’s Rezzil’s Player 22 safe heading software so their participants can learn the technique behind head the ball without the constant head and brain impact. As part of this pilot we are designing guidelines for safe heading protection in youth programs and we are committing to reducing heading in the programming by at least 25%.
CAC Board Member and Head for Change Co-Founder Judith Gates says:
‘It is seeing at first hand the effects of CTE, an unremitting progressive disease only caused by concussive and sub concussive head injuries, that motivated me to be a co-founder of Head for Change. I will do all in my power to protect others from the devastating consequences of sports related neurodegenerative disease. Let’s work together to bring about the changes we know are needed, let’s work together to create a safer sporting future.’
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:
About FIFA Foundation Community Programme
The Foundation Community Programme supports organisations that use football as a tool for social change and to improve the lives of underprivileged people around the world. Once a year, the FIFA Foundation invites established non-profit entities to apply for project funding in order to use football as a tool to address social issues affecting young people such as education, health, peacebuilding, refugees, leadership and gender equality.
Coaches Across Continents is an award-winning non-profit focused on education and community development. Its Purposeful Play curriculum and Education Outside the Classroom (EOC) methodology supports communities to design pathways towards social change based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. EOC empowers communities, organizations, leaders and young people to analyze their needs and implement strategies to choose their futures. CAC has trained and certified 25,000+ community coaches and leaders, and annually, provides quality education for over 16 million youth.
Coaches Across Continents – Adam Burgess,
Goals, Voices, Choices
Coaches Across Continents (CAC) is excited to be collaborating with fellow experts in leadership through youth sports- The Sports Creative (TSC). We both believe in the importance of giving young people the confidence to use their voices and tell their unique stories. Together we have co-designed a play-based curriculum guidebook which The Sports Creative coaches will be able to use in their 6 community programs worldwide in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Villa Hermosa, Dominican Republic; Valle de Chalco, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Doha, Qatar; and Philadelphia, USA.
Called ‘Goals, Voices, Choices’ the curriculum aligns with core Sports Creative model themes such as Our Community, Our Voices, and Our Culture, and will allow educational topics, typically delivered in a classroom setting, to be facilitated on the sports field. The Sports Creative have an existing activity pathway for all program participants which includes individual storytelling, personal development exploration, and creative art opportunities. This curriculum will link those activities to play-based games which empowers youth with confidence, and supports them to identify viable goals in well-being, education, and their lives. Balancing play-based activities with discussion-based activities will ensure youth with varying interests will engage with the program and benefit from the opportunities it provides.
We will use the curriculum as a starting point for the collaboration between CAC and TSC. Our partnership goal is for more communities worldwide to benefit from collaborative support from TSC’s sport and storytelling partnership model alongside CAC’s sustainable consultancy.
The Sports Creative and Coaches Across Continents are proud to both be program partners of the Rexona Breaking Limits Programme, developed in partnership with Beyond Sport. Following our work on the Rexona BLP The Sports Creative and Coaches Across Continents recognized the potential value of a collaborative capacity-building model leading to this partneship.
Psychologist and Board member of The Sports Creative, Dr Renée Pirkl said:
“This new curriculum offers a powerful positive development path for youth, based on their goals, voices, and choices. To play safely and inclusively, be heard and valued, and have choices and agency through opportunities. These core experiences increase self-awareness, self-esteem, and social skills; learning problem-solving and collaboration; experiencing community and connection; and building compassion, purpose, and resilience.”
Coaches Across Continents Board Member and Educator, Dr. Judith Gates said:
“We are honored to be given the opportunity to work closely with The Sports Creative. Having known about their unique process for the past 2 years it is clear they offer a level of youth empowerment that has not been seen before in the sport for social change sector. The importance of highlighting the voices and choices of young people can not be underestimated in a world where youth increasingly feel powerless. We are excited to collaborate to enhance each others work.”
About The Sports Creative
The Sports Creative believe every young person should have access to the power of play in their community. They create community-led sports & arts programs for youth, supporting their physical, social, and emotional well-being. They believe in the power of sport, the importance of creativity, and the voices of young people. A key starting block is accepting that young people understand their own context and needs. This empowers youth with confidence, and supports them to identify viable goals in well-being, education, and their lives. Their programs contribute to multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
About Coaches Across Continents
Coaches Across Continents is the global leader in using Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom to address the UN SDGs and UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our two brands work at all levels, from advising governments and creating corporate social purpose to advancing community organizations, developing coaches, and educating young people. CAC Instruct develops coaches and educators to deliver Purposeful Play and Education Outside the Classroom by providing On-Field training, child safeguarding, and curriculum.
Positive Climate Action for the Entire S4D Sector
Feb 10, 2022. Coaches Across Continents is proud to announce our partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children on an initiative that will provide positive climate action for the entire Sport for Development sector.
Coaches Across Continents, with UEFA’s support, will develop, pilot, and then deliver an animated curriculum in seven languages that will educate children, coaches, and organization. CAC Instruct will develop a ten-game curriculum that educates about each of UN ACT Now’s ten actionable items individuals may utilize to reduce their carbon footprint. This curriculum will be piloted in Nairobi through our long-term partner, Green Kenya, impacting over 1,000 children.
Once finalized, the curriculum will be open source and available in early 2023 through Sport Session Planner, the Premier 3D Sport Session Planning Tool for Clubs and Coaches. Each activity will be animated and have a video example and available through smartphones in at least seven major languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Swahili & Spanish). We anticipate this curriculum to be utilized by thousands of organizations on all six continents, educating millions of children and creating the first large-scale effort by the sport for development sector to collectively reduce our impact on the planet.